ABC…another big city. Xian to Chengdu

After our long day out exploring Xian, we then enjoyed our evening in the hotel at the Dumpling Banquet and grand show. Ellen was very attentative and made sure we were happy before we managed to persuade her that it really was ok for her to go home!
We settled down and tucked into lots of different types of dumpling all of which were supposed to be made in the shape of the thing that was within them. My particular favourites were made in the shape of cabbage and walnut (not together) and that’s exactly what they contained. We sat with an Australian couple and their little boy and the chap taught us how to order a Binda Pijou. Otherwise known as a cold beer. Good man.
The show was also very good and we enjoyed different types of dance and acrobatics. The girls did various flouncy things with ribbons and long sleeves and the boys tended to dress as warriors. One slight diversion from this general theme was the solo trumpet player who looked very pleased with himself as he trumpeted away and then did some whistling as well engaging directly with the audience. Who was that bloke in the 70s who used to do that whistling thing ? Well anyway this chap was his biggest fan. The grand finale was very dramatic and as you’d expect everything was perfectly choreographed and in time, even here in our hotel.
The next day we had to be up and ready to go again as we had a visit to the Shaanxi Museum in Xian. This place was very busy and clearly very important in Chinese culture as it has 370,000 relics chronicling the history of the area right back to pre-historic times. Ellen was really keen to share all this with us but to be honest we couldn’t muster up the same enthusiasm. But we politely went round taking it in turns to coo at the old pots and figures. However, once we made it through to the Tang Dynasty where Xian reached its golden peak..it all became a bit more interesting. It was here that the Silk Road made Xian such an important capital of the Chinese empire. This was when Buddhism was introduced and more fancy silks and pottery etc. There were several spots where students were creating their own versions of the masterpieces in clay but I resisted having a go. After a couple of hours it was time to go and make our way to the airport.
Here Ellen took great care of us once again and after another ‘airport incident’ it was time to say goodbye. We all gave Ellen a hug which she clearly found very awkward but even so she stayed to wave us through the security check in. Bless her.
Oh yes..the airport incident this time was Joyce. Unfortunately Joyce had to update her passport in between us booking the trip and us now actually flying. This means that her passport details don’t match the records the airline have. This means they now don’t want her to fly which is a little awkward. Anyway, they seem to fuss about for quite a while and call other superiors and eventually they get bored with it all and just let her go through because too much of a queue is building up. Hurrah.
This flight to Chengdu was just about an hour and we landed in very cloudy weather. I knew nothing about Chengdu and thought that it was probably a rather smaller town. Oh my dog…it’s incredible, this time we were told Chengdu had a population of 14 million. The airport here is super modern and we met our new guide Elena who was again very young and preppy but this time with v good, confident English.
Then we drove into our latest ‘another big city’ (ABC as referred to by an American on our plane). As we drove in we passed every single brand of car retailer you’ve ever heard of. This was no small town place and as we got into the city centre this became even more obvious as the impressive tower blocks just got taller and taller. The traffic also got more and more clogged and once again the cars are nearly all really smart.
I was open mouthed as we again passed major, high end retailers such as Versace, Prada and Tiffany. I am gob smacked by all of this. This is meant to be a Communist country and yet they seem to be so much more advanced even here in Chengdu. Once again my perspective on the world is being challenged and I feel very small. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “ABC…another big city. Xian to Chengdu

  1. Mike

    You’ve got to try the local Hot Pot here in Chengdu, a Sichuan speciality – not at all like the Lancashire version that we were brought up on. Now I’m feeling envy swelling up. Enjoy, but take it easy on the chilli.

  2. Amanda

    Roger Whittaker!! I liked the Meerkat Chess Set. X

    • Ah now he did used to whistle but I don’t mean him. I meant the bloke who wore a bowler hat pulled over his ears and I thought he talked by whistling. Or have I remembered it all wrong??? Meanwhile …I’ve got leave old Durham Town…..

      • Amanda

        Errr………..Freddie Parrotface Davis?

      • Yes but apparently I’ve got it all wrong. It was Percy Edwards who did the whistling . Joyce kept saying Percy Thrower which was v distracting!!

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