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Email: Adventures in China – Xian

«Xian – Terracotta Warriors

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2001 20:26 PDT
Subject: Adventures in China

We are still in Xian. The other night, Sandy and I took a little walk through the city. If it wasn’t for the diesel fumes and the drum tower at the end of the block, you wouldn’t know you were in China. The weather was comfortable – 70Fs.

Near the end of the walk, Sandy said that she was thirsty. Soon after, I saw a vending machine on the street side of the sidewalk (OK, you wouldn’t see this in California). It offered several beverages. Each cost the same – Y2.50 (about $.30). Sandy didn’t have the coins needed, so we tried bills first. As soon as we started to feed bills, two men appeared. We smiled. They smiled. We went back to feeding the bills. Unfortunately, the machine wouldn’t cooperate.

Then, a young woman arrived and offered her help. She changed our old bills to new bills. These bills didn’t work either. Sandy had two Y1 coins but not a Y.60 coin. She did have a Y.50 bill (yes, they have ’50 cent’ bills). The woman had an Y.60 coin, so we exchanged again. By this time, we had six people around us and more looking from afar. We dropped in the coins, made our selection, and cheered when we heard the solid ‘clunk’ sound near the mouth of the machine.

The problem was that the can didn’t come out. I rocked the machine. Nothing. The two men pushed the coin return. Nothing. I finally crouched down and put my arm deep inside the machine. I felt a little door which I opened. I felt the can and promptly grabbed it, pulling it out. I cheered again and everyone smiled.

Sandy and I said “thank you” in Mandarin and left with our ‘Orange and Honey Sports Drink’. It was warm but tasty.

More later,
Darren and Sandy