Cheering the Runners at Xi'an ink and watercolor by Meera Rao
Xi'an City Wall Marathon ink and watercolor by Meera Rao
After a sumptuous breakfast, we set out early to explore Xian. Xi'an, an ancient capital of China has the oldest, largest and most well preserved fortifications. Our guide was excited and flipped our itinerary a bit. She drove us to city wall and gate (built in the 14th century) much earlier than planned because it was Xian City Wall Marathon day ! We too climbed up the city wall to watch and cheer as the runners went by. It was the very festive and Chinese version of the Rock and Roll marathon - with mostly retired elderly ( and mainly women) drumming and leading the cheers with ribbons, flags and colorful scarves as the runners breezed through. We also had a great view of the city from the wall.
China Post ink and watercolor by Meera Rao
Among the things that caught my attention during our trip to China were the green Chinese post boxes, mail vans and post offices. The mail delivery and pick up vehicles especially in the cities were all small and three wheeled. This one had a big basket on top.
Umbrella for Motorcycle ink and watercolor by Meera Rao
Electric scoters with covers ink and watercolor by Meera Rao
To tackle transportation and environmental problems, China has millions of electric motorbikes and scooters - electric are the only ones allowed on the roads now. I saw a number of them being charged by the curbside with electric wires running from stores or houses. They run very quiet and walkers have to be vigilant and watch out for fast moving vehicles that sneak up suddenly in their path! Many of the bikes and scooters I saw had colorful umbrellas or covers to protect them from rain and sun :)
Another interesting feature was how they used coats/jackets or special covers for their hand and vehicle handles but not the rest of the body!