The story of the terra cotta warriors is pretty amazing. A farmer was drilling for a well and he was down in the hole sending out loads of dirt and did not realize that he had tossed the head of an ancient warrior made of terra cotta into the pile of dirt. When it arrived at the surface the other workers were so terrified they ran to the village for help from the authorities, leaving the farmer in the hole. The area he was digging is marked in the pit and just a slight adjustment 3 different ways and he would have missed them. There have now been 4 pits discovered, the first being the largest and the 4th being completely empty, as there was no time to produce any more warriors until the people who had been enslaved by the emperor rebelled and brought the end to that dynasty.
The pits are huge. I wish I could convert meters to yards quickly enough to remember just how vast they were. I just know it was a lot of football fields worth. Most of the warriors were destroyed by later uprisings and evidence of huge fires to destroy them is seen in blackened areas surrounding the warriors. No two warriors are alike and there are warriors who represent the generals, the charioteers, infantryman, archers, and horses. Looking down into the pit it's difficult to see the differences but some are presented on a higher level and you can see that even the size of the feet and the diameter of the ankles varies greatly, along with their hair which signifies their rank.
We also had lunch at one of the farmer's relatives homes, where he cooked the meal himself. It was very traditional and very delicious.
The craziest part of the day was at the end, after the tour, and our guide was so impressed with how spicy they liked their food, he wanted to take them to his favorite duck take away place. It was kind of like a deli counter on a busy street. The only things I recognized in the case were some feet of various birds. Our guide had them give the girls samples and then they started ordering, putting the stuff in bags, until I finally insisted we had enough and we carried off bags of very spicy duck necks, duck tongues, duck intestines, duck feet, octopus, and lotus root. There was no McDonald's, kfc, or pizza place in sight, so we headed back to the hotel to find the man who said he could order a pizza for me.
I knew they had one on their restaurant menu as I'd had a slice the day before, so we headed to the restaurant and the man in charge recognized us from the breakfast buffet. Annabel, whose just like her grandfather, asked if we could borrow some paper plates. First the man offered to send them to our room but once he recognized the bag, insisted we all eat in the restaurant so they could enjoy it easier.
It was a very kind thing to do and not something that happens often, I'm sure, allowing street food in a nice restaurant while your mother orders the cheapest thing on the menu. He reminded me that our room would have had a very bad odor this morning. Annabel insisted on bringing the leftovers to the room and hopes to eat them on the plane today.
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