Chengdu, May/2011

I´ve been planning to update these photos for a while. Many thanks for Edina and John for the whole weekend!

Chengdu/ Sichuan Province

A two-hour flight fright from Shanghai, roughly halfway to Tibet. (Return air ticket cost 170 EUR)

Currently the most dynamically developing and the most livable Chinese city, according to some. Actually, if I turn a blind eye to the overwhelming presence of throat and eye-killing yellow smog, I couldn’t agree with this more.

Apart from the poorest air-quality I’ve ever experienced, including Casablanca 6 years ago, which I thought was unüberable, the other, and a much more positive surprise about this city was its people, and really, how relaxed they are. There are tea-houses and make-shift terraces all around town, where locals eat their spicy noodle soups, I had the impression that Chengdunese love spending time outdoors and spectacularly idle away their days over the tea leaves.

Thousands of miles away from the seas, this landlock place has a beach feeling to it! Mind you, they do have the sunshine and sweaty sand (street dust), so together with the rattan armchairs and beach boys (elderly, sluggish, waiters who circulate around the chair and keep filling up the guests’ teacups with boiling water). And there you go, you’ve got their answer to laid-back slacking on the urban shores.

So, my favourite was the fact that at the monastery’s open-air teahouse the guests have to pay only for the tealeaves and then the slowly watermen prances by and refills with water as many times and lets you slack there as long as your butt can stand (sic!) sitting at one place.

I’ll post some photos later of a restaurant (THE restaurant) Edina and John took me to and also of our day as volunteers in the Panda Reserve.

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