Where We Be
|The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show made for a fun evening in Xi'an
|Tang Dynasty Show -- Xi'an, China
As we drive to dinner and a show, someone
comments on the fact that none of the drivers
use their car horns here. “That’s because
you're not allowed to,” our guide Tony tells us.
“The horn blowing got so bad at one point that
the city government in Xi’an simply outlawed it.
Now, if you use your horn, the police find you
very fast and give you a ticket.” Xi'an is the only
city we visit in China that doesn’t suffer from
constant horn blowing.
Tony points out a forlorn middle-aged man
standing by the side of the road with a red flag
in his hand. “That is what we call a Policeman’s
Assistant,” he tells us. “He was speeding or he
broke some other traffic law, so the policeman
pulled him over and gave him a choice. Either
pay the ticket now, or stand on the side of the
road and hold this red flag as an example to
other motorists until the next person gets
pulled over and is given the same choice.
Sometimes,” Tony explains, “it takes a long time
for the next person to get pulled over. After
one or two hours, sometimes the offender will
approach the policeman and say, Please give
me a ticket.”
Before the show we dine on 18 different kinds
of dumpling, each with its own shape. Minced
duck dumplings, for instance, are shaped like
ducks. We try fish, walnut, pumpkin, lotus root,
shrimp, scallop, pork, sauerkraut, sausage, and
deep fried dumplings, to name just a few.
The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is
excellent. The costumes and sets are lovely
and the dancing is elegant, as we hope the
photos on this page suggest. One man plays a
flute that sounds like a songbird in the frenzy
of courtship. Another alternates between a
kazoo-like instrument that sounds like a duck
and his own nasal voice, getting some laughs.
Late that evening, on the bus ride back to our
hotel, we see people burning fake paper money
at street corners. This is in honor of Qing Ming
(Tomb Sweeping) Day, a day for honoring your
ancestors. Officially, Qing Ming is tomorrow,
but people appear to be getting an early start.
Burning paper money at street corners is a
symbolic way of ensuring your ancestors have
everything they need in the afterlife and are
well provided for. Burning the money at a
crossroads is said to make it easier for them to
find the money.
|This Chinese string instrument looks almost like a horizontal harp
|The backdrops and costumes were beautiful
|We loved all the extravagant costumes
|This dragon dance was particularly energetic
|Getting to try 18 different kinds of dumplings made it even more fun
|Each dumpling was small, but after 18 different types we were stuffed
|A member of our group poses with a dancer after the show