Thursday, March 1, 2007

Chengdu

Hey everyone,

We have made it into Chengdu. We thought we had bought sleeper tickets but unfortunately they were hard seat tickets so it was another 15 hours on our bottoms. We were in luck, though, and the bus was quite clean and very large, which is highly important when driving on some of the more dangerous roads in the world. Arriving at around 23:00, we decided to spare our host family the trouble of having to stay up late for us so we went to the Dragon Town Youth Hostel. It was a nice little place with an outdoor patio on which we enjoyed a few Snow Brand beers. Nathan has commissioned us to drink the native beer in every country we visit and so far we have not failed. After a comfortable sleep we woke up and had some breakfast--banana porridge for me and chocolate pancakes for Austin. We then booked our tickets for the Yangtze River cruise and took the taxi over to Liz, Doug and Mick (their 14-year-old son with a great sense of humour) Searles place in Chengdu. They are our SERVAS hosts here. We immediately felt right at home and got some great ideas of places to visit. After setting our stuff up we went for a walk around town, trying to find an antique market we had been told about. Unable to find this, we settled on seeing one of the last large statues of Mao in China. We returned home to a delicious Sichuan meal prepared by Liz and Doug's helper whose name I have forgotten, unfortunately. Later Doug showed us their photos of Western Sichuan and the mountains and the people living in villages there. There were some really spectacular shots. Tomorrow we plan on finding the elusive antique market, the treasures of which, Doug assures me, are at least twenty-four hours old.

10 comments:

ajve said...

Thanks for the update Will!! Chengdu is a happening place according to this week's TIME magazine!

yourOtherDianeFriend said...

*sigh* Chairman Mao. Interesting fellow, that one. Controversial an' that.

And the beer mission! How very Nathan-esque to charge you with such a task. I think its brilliant. Have there been any domestic brews that were horrendous? Oh, and if you're hittin' Thailand, I've heard that Tiger Beer is a classic...

Anonymous said...

Hi Will, I was going to ask you which beer has been your fav. but I see your other friend Diane asked that already. Can't wait to hear about that. About Ryan's email I will email you that since I don't think he would love having his email on the blog.
love you lots
Aunt Sue

Oma said...

Dear Will,We'll try again! The first attempt failed but this time we should be ok. Oma says" Better watch out for the girls out there!!!"And she won't mend your shirt!!! There must be people there who sew!Great to hear you are having a great time.I'm Oma's neighbor,my husband Ron is from your Mom's home town. We hope to meet you this fall when you come live here!! Very best wishes for your adventure. Oma sends her love.
Jean

Anonymous said...

Tiger Beer is Singapore beer. Thailand is Chang beer, and some other one. Diane needs to get her facts straight. Come ON Diane.

Terra Incognita said...

Is ShooShoo getting more excited by the day about going home?

Diane said...

Well, "anonymous," I haven't actually been there and I don't exactly do my foreign beer research because all I really drink is Guinness and the odd domestic brew so...throw me a bone! :P Or a beer....I'd be cool with either. Actually, I'd prefer the beer...

Diane said...

:O I LIED! It was elephant beer I was thinking of, made by Carlsberg. My brother's got the shirt...

And I don't think its a domestic Thai beer.

Satisfied?

Carla said...

And did you buy any of those elusive 24-hour-old antiques?

Will said...

Hey everyone,

Sorry I've been a bit lazy with the blog of late. The internet cafes here are usually thick with smoke which burns the eyes. I hope that's an adequate excuse.

First of all, Anonymous and Diane, let's stop all this bickering. It's not going to help anything. Diane, you did get your facts mixed up, which may have something to do with all the Guiness you consume. Anonymous, you're really just starting a fight for no reason. So she made a minor geographical error. It's not worth bickering over.

Hey Mom,
I will have to check Time's website for some info on Chengdu. I wonder if it's banned here in China...

Aunt Sue,
In terms of the best beer so far, it probably was something in Europe. The Baltic brews were quite good, but I have forgotten the names of them. They are written down somewhere though. The Russian beer Baltyka wasn't super and the Chinese beer is okay.

Hey Oma and Jean,
Glad to hear from you again! I actually sewed my shirt and am currently wearing it. Another skill I have my mother and father to thank for! Love you lots Oma!

Hello Terra Incognita,
Shooshoo has been itching to get back. He has been a bit mellow of late, usually opting out of daytrips in favour of writing his memoirs. He plans to give these as a gift to his children, so they know how he came to be in Canada and why he decided to come back. We tried to drag him along today to climb the mountain with us and he agreed. However, when we got to the top he didn't even admire the view, but just starting again writing. You have to admit he is one dedicated primate.

Hey Carla,
There wasn't much of worth at the antique market, so I decided not to spend any money. I might pick up one of Mao's little red books when I get back to Chengdu. They also have assorted old postcards from the 60s which would be neat.

-Will