Posts Tagged ‘Nightlife’

White chocolate cake sometimes come with cherries on top. But I certainly never expected cherry tomatoes. There are some things about China that I will never understand.

Tomato Chocolate Cake

The cake reminded me of something from my childhood. As kids, my brothers and I were told the story of 畫蛇添足, in English: painting legs on a snake. As the story goes, there was once a painting competition between a group of friends to see who would win the last bowl of wine. Each was to paint a snake as fast as possible. One of the boys finished much faster than everyone else, and thought to himself “wow, they’re all taking forever. I have plenty of time, I’ll add some legs on my snake too!” When another person claimed he had finished fastest, the young boy exclaimed “No, I was first! I’ve even had time to paint legs on my snake!”. At this point, all the others laughed and reminded him that snakes didn’t have legs, and the young boy left without the wine.

No wine for him

The tomatoes on top of the cake seems like an overachieving attempt to make the cake seem more “Western”, to appease the clientèle looking for a more foreign experience in an American coffee shop. Yet when I come to such a store, I laugh at the idea of having tomatoes on chocolate cake.

While they certainly overdo some things, no one will ever claim that the Chinese don’t have the ability to make things large and grandiose (example: the $100 million Opening Ceremony at the 2008 Olympics). Just a few blocks north of the apartment I’m staying at is the 大唐不夜城 (Tang Dynasty Nightless Mall), an outdoor complex a mile long, with plazas and shopping centers around every corner. In a constant state of expansion for the past few years, it won’t be long before this completion results in the largest economic sector in interior China. With countless offices being built and huge companies moving in, I’m inclined to believe my friend when he claims that “in 10 years, the economic performance of companies in the world will be judged by their performance on this street”. Look into the sky, and sky-scraping cranes litter the horizon.

The Emperor Arriving

The Empress and her Consort

No climbing!?

Xi'an Concert Hall

In addition to all the buildings being put in, the Chinese have taken the time to recreate history as well. Xi’an is the ancient capital of the Tang dynasty, the city itself dating back over 3,000 years. In the mall, monuments and statues have been erected to commemorate the greatness of Chinese history. Sculptures and murals depict imperial life during the 7th century, with countless displays to the wonder of ancient China.

Visiting Tourists

Pillars telling stories of the Tang Dynasty

During the night, a blend of ancient culture and modern technology brings a light show to life, showing even greater examples of why China is the best country in the world. In the parade grounds in front of the 大雁塔 (Wild Goose Pagoda) on the north end of the mall, music is put on, and the elderly practice their ballroom dancing. As vendors sell ice-cream and cold drinks, little kids run around on roller blades, and older men and women dance the Viennese Waltz until well past 11 pm.

Vienesse Waltz with the Pagoda in the background

This happens every evening. The vibrant life that this city has to offer exhibits the amazing revival that is happening right now in the middle of China, you would be sore to miss it.

大唐不夜城 Welcomes You

Note: All the photos that have been posted can be found on my Flickr stream, feel free to share while giving proper credit.