Xi'an Diaries  Xi'an - China  June.2014

Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province. A sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong Plain in Northwest China, it is one of the oldest cities in China, the oldest prefecture capital, and one of the Chinese Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, Northern Zhou, and Tang. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. (Source:wikipedia.org)

My train from Ping Yao to Xian is at 10.16. The waiting room is full of passengers and their cargo. In China domestic trains are slow and travel time is long, so passengers carry their food with them. On the waiting platform where we will board the train, the Chinese officer looked at the tickets and tells the passengers at which point to wait. He showed me a point too. The wagon also stopped right in front of me. When I saw someone else in my seat, I showed my ticket. He gently got up and emptied the seat. People are using empty seats instead of standing. My suitcase is with me again. A little girl traveled sitting on it with my permission, as she was intact. When I glanced at the wagon, I saw that I was the only stranger. The seat was three-seater and the passengers sit opposite each other. Everyone was watching me curiously, everyone laughing lightly whoever I look at. I gave the Chinese version of the Unesco award document I carried with me to the young boy sitting opposite me. He first read it himself, then climbed suddenly on the seat and read the certificate loudly to the passengers in the wagon, while showing me with his finger. That was the moment I became famous in the wagon. Passengers lined up to take a photo with me. After that, they let me take a few pictures inside the carriage. Passengers were usually rural people but they value art and artist. What a beautiful memory for me. When I look at our photograph taken together on the train, I remember that moment with and the excitement of the child. My journey passed for 10 hours watching young people having fun among themselves, consuming their food, and watching the environment. At one point he passed over a long and high bridge. Below us was the famous Yellow River. I reached Xian on a rainy night. A taxi was required to get to the city. As a result of the fight with the taxi driver's gang, I got along with someone and the right person turned out. He tried to find the right way by calling the hostel where I was staying from the taxi several times. He stopped at a fuel station and bought liquid gas for his vehicle. The money he paid for 32 liters of gas was 10 yuan. Approximately 35 Turkish Liras. It was a very small amount of money. The state was supporting the taxi drivers to keep them alive. Then he stopped in front of a large traditional wooden door. A young girl from the hostel with an umbrella was waiting for me. We walked to the hostel together and reached my hostel. 28.June.2014

My first thing in the morning was to find a map. Marking the location of the hostel on it, I went for a ride. After watching the drum tower in the city center and the performance there, I visited and photographed a mosque in Chinese architecture on the way back to the hostel. The area where the hostel was located was a Muslim neighborhood. My purpose in going to Xian was to see this ancient capital, which was the starting point of the Silk Road, and to visit the underground army of the Emperor. I had the opportunity to photograph the Muslim lifestyle due to the structure of the neighborhood I stayed in and because we were in Ramadan. With the iftar dinner, I photographed in the Grand Mosque, I was going to receive an award in China again next year and visit the country for the second time. One of the most interesting buildings I visited in the city was the Temple of the Gods of the City. I think every city in China has a temple dedicated to the village guard gods. A feature of the gods here was that they visited the city every 60 years. The dates of visiting the city at 60-year intervals were written under each of them in the temple. It was forbidden to take photographs, but again I got permission by showing the employee my award certificate. On the way out, he also gave a gift book written in Chinese. Although I explained that I do not speak Chinese, I accepted when I saw the smile on his face. 29.June.2015