An Afternoon in Xi'an

Judy Tulchin is volunteering to teach English in Xi’an, China.  Xi’an is in the heart of the country, near the Terra Cotta Warriors.  Judy recently retired from teaching, but wanted to do more. She decided to join Global Volunteers to teach English in China, and her experiences there have been life enriching.

By Judy Tulchin

October 22, 2008

After the morning of teaching, I skipped lunch and went downtown by bus. I have learned to take the 45...that's the only one I find convenient. It stops in from of the hotel to go downtown.  For those who have never been to China, it's extradinary to see how people criss-cross the streets with all the heavy traffic...buses, cars, motorbikes, motorcycles, bikes, etc.

Perhaps most amazing of all, is the ability to manuvre in a country with no language ability--either written or spoken. It gives me a real sense of the immigrant managing in the new environment. The Chinese people are welcoming to Americans. We have Chinese name tags around our necks in case we get lost. Return to sender! Global Volunteers. We are the last team of Americans for this year. They are not getting as many applications since we all seem to be hurting financially.

I went to visit the Drum Tower, built in 1380 and located on the edge of the Muslim quarter. The biggest mosque in China is found here which surprised me. I wandered around the Muslim neighborhood and it seemed every other stall was selling delicious smelling food; dried fruits and of course trinkets and clothing and shoes. One can get good prices here but you must bargain for everything. Fortunately, I shopped last week with one of the experienced gals who left Saturday.

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