We decided to stay at the Lu Dao hotel in Xi’an, and lo and behold there was a hotel employee at the train station who tried to get us to stay there. That worked out well. In Xi’an we saw the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, and the Terracotta Warriors. The city oozed with history.
All of the historic sights attracted a lot of backpackers, and there were tons of Westerners on the streets of Xi’an. We met some Australians at our hotel, and joined them for a night out. Australians aren’t reserved when it comes to drinking. They helped us order a few bottles that night, and we probably had a few drinks more than we should have. The next morning, I woke up with a headache and Jake woke up without his passport. Our travels were starting to wear us down and we wanted to return to Suzhou.
We knew that there was a 6:45 pm train and decided to rush to the station to get tickets. However, we found that there were no tickets left, and they were all sold out for the next three days. In China, you learn to never say never. We talked to the hotel manager, a guy who called himself Jim Beam, about our predicament, and he assured us that he had some guanxi and could pull some strings. With his aid and an extra RMB 50, we were able to buy sleeper car tickets to Suzhou for the next day.