I hadn’t realised just how much of Xi’an lay outside the city walls until my last day there. I walked south from the South Gate of the city in a zig-zag until I reached the Big Wild Goose Pagoda—which turned out to be much further than I’d anticipated from my not-to-any-particular-scale map. On the way, I passed through an electronics district, and paused to listen to some amateur Chinese hip-hop on a Samsung-sponsored stage at the side of the street. I’d definitely have missed that if I’d taken the bus!
There are plenty of familiar chains in China, including a number of supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour. Once you get inside, though, Chinese supermarkets are a little bit different from what you might be used to.