I have now arrived in Xian a bit groggy having taken the red eye flight. I am traveling with my brother Mark. First stop is a fairly nice hotel in town, inside the first ring road. Did not realize when I booked the room online that motorcycles are not allowed inside the first ring road....:cry . Next stop to pick up the bike, and add a bit of bling I brought from Thailand. Here are the shop guys hard at work putting the bling on. The finished bike from the side. And from the front. Notice the new hand guards ! The guys did a great job, bike looks like new again. They also changed the front tire out , deciding that it took a big impact and was suspect due to hidden cord damage. Good idea on their part as I had overlooked that. So now have to drop the bike off at a hotel outside the ring road, and move there the next day. Mark was waiting for his plate to show up, so spent one more day at the new hotel. Upside was they had a really nice show outside at the beer garden. Beautiful dancing girls?? Got them ! A guy bending a steel bar with his throat? Covered ! Ok, more dancing girls.... And finally a little girl comes out and puts on a dancing show that was beyond belief. She had moves that would put a Bangkok gogo girl to shame, right down to pelvic thrusts..... Here she is in action. Here is a picture showing her relative size to an adult. Next day some city touring. Xian is a huge city, and suffers from some serious pollution problems. No, that is not fog......My lungs hurt the whole time I was there. Here is the bell tower which sort of defines the center of the city. The original bell itself is long gone . At the top was a sort of museum of antique shadow puppets. Shadow puppets in action pose with a light box. They looked pretty realistic. Here is the local stock exchange. The inside was absolutely packed with a people watching a huge screen with flashing numbers showing the price fluctions of each stock. And outside were parked all these cheap bicycles.....A very surreal scene to me since I make my living in the stock market. Just had a sense these people could not afford a market downturn. But who is say?? The market here is up about 100 percent this year alone. Packed up and ready to roll. Open road here we come !!