On this trip, our hotel was outside of and in sight of Xian’s city walls. We had a view of the battlements that were centuries old. At night, the walls and towers were outlined with white Christmas lights.
I ached to get up there and walk those walls. It was 1999, and I’d wait more than nine years before that happened. One day I want to rent a bicycle and explore the entire wall.
Our second day in the city, we walked from the hotel into the city to a Xian restaurant. I went in first and the hostess, who didn’t speak a word of English, handed me a menu written in English.
My wife, dressed more like a Chinese peasant than an American, walked in after me and she was handed a menu written in Chinese. Then she glanced at my menu before taking it out of my hands and giving it back to the hostess.
“We’ll use the Chinese menu,” she said.
The prices in Mandarin were less than half the English version. A stunned look appeared on the hostesses face. It was a Candid Camera moment, and it was all I could do to not laugh.
Discover I Ate no Dog, I Ate no Cat, a Guest post by Bob Grant
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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