Currently on a sleeper train on my way to shanghai. Managed to book a hard sleeper and actually arrived at the station this time! It's almost 10pm so will try and sleep in a minute cos there's nothing else I can do. Guy opposite is snoring. Brilliant. I don't know when/if lights turn out either so I've found a mask thing that I got off the plane which I'll use.
Went yesterday to see the Terracotta Army with 4 polish people from my dorm who were lovely, and an English speaking guide. Her name was JaJa (pronounced like jar-jar) and the Chinese translation was lady, and so her name was Lady Jaja!! Turns out she was getting married the next day and so she showed us some of her wedding photos that she had with her - in china they have the photos taken in advance of the wedding rather than on the day. She was also carrying the rings wrapped in tissue paper and slung in her handbag and so showed us those as well!
At the site there are 3 different pits, all at different stages of development depending on how much of the army has been discovered and how pieces together the soldiers are. We were shown the pits in order of how completed they were, bearing in mind that they were only first discovered in the early 70s, and we were shown the most completed last. The terracotta army was discovered by chance by a farmer who was digging for water, and as a reward the government gave him 100 RMB (£10)!! His village was then relocated and so he got a brand new house and has later made some more money off it though as he was there in person to sign books (although we weren't allowed to get a photo with him). Although the whole experience was amazing, I just found it on the whole really sad as the emperor used slaves to make the army and each person would make one and then was killed - in order to keep it all a secret. Some people engraved their signature either on the shoulder or the base of the shoe of the soldier they were making in order to not be forgotten. So in my opinion I found it quite chilling and viewed it as one giant graveyard.
Further down the road you are able to see where the emperor is supposedly buried. However he hasn't actually been dug up yet due to levels of mercury detected in the ground (which the emperor used to eat and ultimately killed him) and so all you can see is a giant man made hill in the distance.
On the way back, Jaja wrote in my notebook in Chinese characters:
"in a vegetarian"
"I don't eat meat, I don't eat fish"
She then took us to the Muslim quarter where we went to a trad restaurant for lunch. I ended up with a tofu dish that was really nice and made a change as I'm normally too scared to order food as i can't be sure what's in it, but now I have my phrases!
Once back at the hotel, one of the workers there, Angel, taught me how to say my name in Chinese (phonetic spelling - chow sa sha) and how to write it in chinese characters.