Hey Hey and G'Day to you all,
Today was a day spent walking around the city finding all those little pokey places I love. In between we visited temples and spent some money on new clothes. We began on our side of the river and found the heart of the city. The actual heart which may have once been a huge concrete park is now one hell of a mess. It's been totally stripped of concrete and is now a building site. Beneath the ground they are building a new city subway, or so we are led to believe from the cartoon posters. Hey maybe it's just going to be a huge underground car park...who knows!
Above the construction site watching in great detail is a HUGE statue of none other than Chairman Mao in all his glory! After starving more people to death than were killed in the second world war...nah, won't go there subject change...we headed Mc Donalds and sat and ate plastic junk food as the chairman watched over us. How does he feel standing there day after day watching as Mc Donalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Star Bucks and Coke Cola take over his country and people. Oh, sorry I forgot to add 'Kenny Rogers Roasters (Chicken)to that list! It's true, there is actually a eatery called Kenney Rogers Roasters.
Does anyone actually know if Kenney Rogers tried to do a Planet Hollywood here in Chengdu or has another Chinese plucked a name from a bamboo pointy hat? Maybe we could have Barbara Edens Eatery, Michael Jacksons Juice (where you need an id card stating your under the age of 10 to actually get in! The sign at the door would say 'No parents allowed!), Omah Sharrif's Snack Shack, Brad Pitts Peanuts...etc etc, you get the idea.
From the city center we headed to Wenshu Temple (5 Yuan). Beautiful place and very clean and quiet. Beware the beggars outside, give them an inch of rope and they want to be a cowboy. Doesn't matter with these guys, give them money and it just seems to make them beg for more and more and more. The same little bugger just keeps coming at you over and over again.
True, I know and hear you. They must get money from somewhere! With missing limbs etc they can't work for it. Yes, but it would be nice to receive a smile at least. This place is much bigger than I thought. Judy and I played table tennis for while half way though the grounds to the amusement of some of the monks walking on by. The veggie eatery is bloody huge mate and serves things that look like things made from dead animals but in fact no animal actually died in it's making, only the poor plants and tofu's.
I still for the life of me can't figure out why people who don't eat meat want to eat things that look like meat. I don't like potato so why would I want to eat a sausage made to look like a potato. I don't like Pamela Anderson, so why would I want to eat...oops, a girlfriend that looks like Pamela Anderson? All of us think and do strange things that others just can't understand or grasp.
I seem to think and do more than most I know so hey, what can I say!
After another hour of walking around the city and little pokey places we headed to Renmin Park or The Peoples Park. For all those whom WILL come to Chengdu, please, I beg you, you MUST head to Renimn Park and sit for an hour watching and listening to the dancing and karaoke. In most places I visit I will always head to the parks and gardens and sit and watch and listen to the locals dance and sing. Have you ever had those experiences where something is so bad that it is actually awesomely good and it fills you with warmth and joy just experiencing it. Well, that is what some of the parks are like here in China. The occupants are from a different era, they squawk and play their instruments in a tune only people from their era can accept.
I really do try so hard.
I sit and ponder and clutch at straws to find an actual tune to some of the songs they scream and dance to. Sadly I can't yet I walk away with a warm filling inside at their happiness at being caught in a time only they can understand and grasp!
After more hours of walking the streets, finding Malls and Dept Stores for Judy and little pokey places for me we decided it was time to fill our stomachs. We headed well away from the Chairmans constant watch over Chengdu's city center and decided to once again go for western food. WOW, twice in one day! We decided on Sams Hostel which is only a street or two down from the center of the city. Here we were told there actually wasn't a cafe there. What they didn't tell us was Sam's had a cafe just up the road.
You see, this is what it is like in China. They literally did answer our question. We asked if there was a cafe here and they said no and that was that. It's sometimes like they don't know how or were never taught to think beyond that. When you go to buy a ticket at the bus or train station and ask for a ticket say to Emei Shan from Ya'an. If there isn't a bus or a train within an hour usually they will just say, no there isn't a train. Unless you speak Chinese it is impossible to get what we consider normal answers from them.
Oh, I'm sorry, there isn't a bus 'this morning' or 'in the next hour' BUT there is one this afternoon. Here we would say, Great, thats cool, I'll take it! From what I can gather they are taught to take the English language 'literally!'
Is there a bus...no there isn't....and thats that, no more information needed or given!
After getting Judy's memory card burnt our stomachs told us we really needed to be fed. Whilst walking we had a guy come out of a shop and try to guide us inside whilst saying...'This way please' It was so funny we nearly did. We found Sam's Cafe whilst walking along the road. Whey they didn't just say, 'No there isn't any food at the hostel but we do have a Sam's Cafe just up the road' I will never know. Her English was fine too and so was the massive burger that I ate at Sams. It was a monster. It was so big I nearly had to sit on it to flatten it down.
The rest of the night was spent, you guessed it...WALKING! Best way to see everything. The craziest thing I've found so far in Chengdu city is the multi story Cruise Ship that has been converted into shops and expensive KTV/Disco's type things. As crazy as it sounds it's actually a great idea when you think about it. The most horrible thing about Chengdu is the pollution. It is horrible. The sky is a constant grey/white haze which makes for some real bad lighting for photos. Other than that, the city itself if pretty cool. The people seem friendly, you can buy anything you need and it is a pretty cool mixture of modern and old...for now!
Beers N Noodles to ya...you guessed it, now I have to WALK accross the river to get home.
Wenshu &amp; Temple Renmin Park
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