Friday, 13 September 2013

Terror Terracottas and Dozing Dexter

Big Dexter with the big grin met us outside the station as expected.  A Groundhog Day experience seemed likely  when our smoking driver lounged against a grubby car.  The dusty, humid atmosphere dried my throat.  I asked for the window to be closed.  Big D translated my request.  The driver told him we would have to pull over to close the windows.  What?!  On closer inspection, various emergency lights were flashing, including the red battery indicator.  Pulling over, the driver fiddled with some wires under the dashboard. After a few jerks, the windows closed.  As for air-con, forget it.  The car got hotter and hotter.  Little by little the driver opened his window.  Back to square one.

At the hotel, we asked Big D for a different car for our trip to see the Terracotta Warriors.  At first he did not understand.  He has only been learning English a short time.  When our message got across, he said he would try.

One hour for check-in, breakfast and shower.  We were allocated Room 1703. My birthday!!  Lucky or what.  The room was clean and adequate.  Not quite 4 star.  The cigarette burns in the carpet, the matches and ashtray suggested it was not non-smoking.  In fairness, it did not smell of tobacco.  The bathroom was clean and we had lots of little boxes to explore.  The sort we usually take home but now we had no room.  I did squeeze in a shoe shining cloth which made a grand job of smartening my grubby IPod. Basic but comfy I would have said. A room safe would have been handy.  The ones in the safe room looked a bit the worse for wear, so we kept our valuables with us.

We were the only guests in the dining room.  A set breakfast was placed on a Lazy Susan - a spinning glass circle on the table, not the waitress.  Far too much for us.  We asked where the other guests were.  We were told 300 would be there tomorrow.  

After a quick shower, we raced to the lounge.  Big D was there.  The car was not.  A replacement car and driver were on their way.  While we waited, we helped Big D with his pronunciation and grammar.  He loved it and begged for more.  So, for the rest of the day, we helped each other with our respective languages.

A large, clean air-conditioned car and smiling driver took us to the Terracotta Warriors.  There was a small detour to a factory to see how they are made.  We beat a hasty retreat out of the shop area.

At the Terracotta Warrior site,  they have a neat trick.  You buy a ticket to take you by buggy to the main areas.  The return journey has no buggies.  Why?  Perhaps it is something to do with the rows of small shops,  like the ones at Mablethorpe, selling a myriad of goods.  Kites, fox furs and fast foods.

As for the Warriors.  Yes, it is impressive to see row upon row of the soldiers.  Only one had been found totally intact.  He was the Kneeling Archer (No, Dexter, you don't say the letter K.  It is silent). It did cross my mind that perhaps the whole set was a big hoax, like The Emperor's New Clothes.  Surely not.

The 84 year old who found the first one was busy signing books.  He looked very happy.  No wonder, looking at the queues.  Lucky man to have had his fortune change in such a way.  Must get out the metal detector when we arrive home.  

Lunch was served at the centre's restaurant. Big D told us help ourselves from the dishes on side tables.  What he didn't say was a waitress would bring along six more plates piled with food!! 

Toilet time a necessity before resuming the tour.  And definitely a need for a European style.  Crouching Tiger was not for me today.  Hence quite a lengthy wait as there was only one European style available.

The men waited patiently until I returned and we resumed the tour.  Not as impressive as the first pit, but still interesting.

Big D looked weary when we climbed into the car for our homeward journey.  It wasn't long before his head droopedower and lower.  He was almost kissing the driver's leg.  I hadn't realised how tiring my English lessons could be!  Driver and passengers giggled quietly so as not to disturb him.  He woke a mile before the hotel.  Apologising he explained his mother's birthday party had not ended until midnight.  I thought be might have been hungover but he was allergic to alcohol.  How sad.

Whether it was the air quality or whether hubby had passed on his cold, my throat was killing by early evening.  It was hard explaining the word 'lemon' when your throat hurts and head aches.  Thank goodness for paper, pen, computer and kind concierge.  Off to bed with a hot lemon drink.  Wish I had packed the Lemsips.  Night all. 

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