Xi’an was once the ancient capital of China – and you can certainly feel it. No one stares at me – or even bothers with a double take. You can see layers and layers of history everywhere you turn. The city’s many historical monuments, ancient ruins and tombs give you the sense that many important events occurred here. After all, Xi’an was an ancient imperial capital and eastern departure point of the Silk Road.
Whenever I visit a place like the Terracotta Army Museum, I realise that humans are absolutely crazy. All this fuss over death – or perhaps not wanting to die? And it doesn’t just begin and end with China. My visits to the Pyramids of Giza and the Taj Mahal were equally astounding. When we have to go, we have to go – right? But I guess there’s no harm in bringing an entire army down with you.
Islam was introduced to China by Arab traders during the Tang Dynasty: which is considered by many to be a golden age in China’s history. The Muslims who settled in China married the local Han Chinese in the area. The Great Mosque was built to honour the founding fathers of Islam in China.
I’m relatively familiar with history of the Uyghur Community in Xinjiang Province – since it’s covered in the news a fair bit – but I was largely unaware of the Hui People of Xi’an. But ignorance is nothing that a bit of light reading and personal experience can’t fix. The origin of the Hui People is believed to have started on the Silk Road as a result of the intermarriage between Muslim traders and Han Chinese.
Zhejiang Province is an industrial area populated with factories, businesses and businesspeople that emit copious amounts of smoke. You simply cannot run from the grey fog. Clear skies are rare. Given the poor air quality, I still can’t wrap my head around the number of smokers around here. And they smoke wherever they like. But that’s another story for another day. Anyhow, I’m not sure if this is the right town for me. There just isn’t enough heart or soul to keep me happy – even though materially I lack nothing.
From 2014-2017, Saturn and I sat down for a long chat. He talked slowly and I listened. It was a tedious process. Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for Saturn. Without his laws, structures and systems – the Solar System would collapse. Having said that, Saturn and I are fundamentally different. To me, life is a grand adventure. To Saturn, life is a tremendous responsibility. It’s not that he’s right and I’m wrong or vice versa. We’re just different.
Sagittarius is the sign of the archer. I have more Sagittarius female friends than any other sign in the zodiac. They are the great explorers: independent, fiery and tenacious. Trying to box a Sagittarius in a futile exercise. Sooner or later, they will break out and break free. And that’s exactly how I feel now that Saturn has left Sagittarius and made way for Jupiter.