Here are a few photos of Shenyang, a small rural village in central China just outside of Xian - the city known for its Terracotta Warriors (or as my son used to call them, the Terracotta Worriers - what are they worrying about, Mummy?)
As a student, I spent two weeks staying there with the 'real' Chenxi's family and much of what I write about Anna's experience there mirrors my own. Like Anna, I was the first foreigner that many of the locals had seen and even a simple walk down the street would cause all kinds of commotion and uproar, much more extreme than the attention I received in Shanghai. And, like Anna, during my stay in Shenyang I had to endure the humiliation of the public showers, where I was praised by all the other women lathering up under the jets of lukewarm water for my whiteness and fatness - sure signs of prosperity!
'Xiao Pang Pang' or 'Little Fat Fat' was the nickname I earned myself in China. While this may have been considered a compliment by the Chinese, many of whom had lived through years of famine in the not too distant past, it was not exactly the kind of nickname a nineteen year old Australian girl had been hoping for. I had been hoping for something more along the lines of 'Slender Willow' or 'Shining Treasure' but 'Small Fat Fat' it was.
If you ask nicely, I might post a couple of photos of 'Small Fat Fat' and 'The Real Chenxi' later in the week. Then again, you might choose to avoid the disappointment. Neither of us are nearly as glamourous as Anna or the made-up Chenxi. :-)
This last photo is the bus we caught from Xian to Shenyang along with a few dozen live chickens strapped to the roof.