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The Hard Sell at the Buddhist Temple


Yesterday, I took a long walk to the giant wild goose Pagoda in Xi'an. This entailed walking past the old city, past the walls, into the new city. The later part of the walk was boring, and wasn't very nice. But the weather has improved greatly. It was sunny and warm enough to walk around without a jacket.

Once I arrived at the Pagoda, the water show started. This was one of the largest water shows in Asia, with the water in tune to the music (this time Chinese music), similar to what I saw back in Dubai.


After the water show, i wandered around the complex. I took a nap on a bench only to be awakened by a police officer. I then walked over to the pagoda. This pagoda was part of a temple, which according to the volunteer guide who approached me, whose English was sort of poor, was the first Buddhist temple in China. The pagoda was used to store all of the documents regarding the Buddhist text, and the translation into Chinese.

This temple had a drum tower and bell tower. I learned that the temple has three figured-the main Buddha, whose name is Sakyamuni, and to the left and right. Amitābha sits to the right of him, and Baiṣajyaguru sits to the left of him. The guide said these two figures had the scriptures of the Buddha or something like that, but I am not sure that is correct. As I said, the guide's English was hard to understand, and she seemed to be yessing me.

She explained that the lion was good look in Chinese, as was the dragon, so these two animals we're everywhere, and there was a lotus flower as well which signified purity.

After all of this, she took me to a large room and wrote my name in Chinese. Here she tried to encourage me to buy a painting by one of the Buddhist monks, and gave kept insisting that the money goes towards the temple. When I refused, we went to another room, where all sorts of jade necklaces we're for sale, and little figurines of lions and dragons. Once again, she kept trying to encourage me to buy something as the money goes to the temple. Finally, we went to another shop with books and postcards. Both her and the sales staff we're sort of pushy.

I walked around, and left the temple. I returned to the hostel-took a nap, and then went to a dumpling and Tang Dynasty Dancing show. The dinner of different types of dumplings was good. I was the only one from the hostel and going, and my host didn't understand that I didn't want to sit at a table for 8 alone-I was able to sit with two newlyweds, and they we're even given a cake to celebrate their honeymoon. They we're from Texas, and since there we're few Caucasians, and few Americans, it was nice to talk to them.

After that, we saw the show, which was quite entertaining. There we're dances like "dance in springtime", where ladies and men would do elegant dances to elaborate backdrops. After about 8 of these dances, I was able to walk back to the hostel, where I went to bed early,

Posted by DavidPearlman 16:24 Archived in China

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