Getting Chillies in Chengdu

As you’ll have gathered, Chengdu is another vast modern city. However, what has been different here is that there seem to be far fewer Western people and apparently none at all in our tower block hotel-The Greenland. As a result hardly anyone here speaks English and so its all been a bit more of a challenge.
We were really tired after our day of travelling again and didn’t feel like going out exploring so decided to eat in our hotel. We are staying on the 30th floor and Jane and I went first of all to check out the ‘Western Style’ Restaurant on the ground floor only to be greeted by several giggling waitresses who had to run off to get a boy to try and speak to us. He showed us in and said there was no menu it was buffet style. We had a look around for pizza, chips, jacket potatoes, spag Bol….but no sign. All they had was pots of limp looking veg, raw fish and ‘local meats’….don’t ask.
There was no-one else eating here and -nope- this wouldn’t do and we decided we’d try the actual sit down Chinese Restaurant on the 4th floor. Once again there was absolutely nobody in here just 3 very smartly dressed waitresses who really struggled to speak any English at all. Now I know we should be fluent in Mandarin by now but of course we are pathetic and we are still struggling with ‘Good Morning’. Zaoshang hao!
So this was going to be interesting especially as the menu they showed us, which was in English, only had about 3 dishes on it and one of those actually was Spag Bol!! Luckily though, Elena our guide had given us a list of 4 dishes we could order and written them down in Chinese and English. We handed over the piece of paper and asked if they could cook these. They agreed they could and then a little later the dishes arrived. Three of them were perfectly acceptable but the one called ‘beef’ was in actual fact more accurately described as a plateful of chillies with 6 pieces of beef. Crikey that was hot but then that is the speciality of Sichuan Province.
These dishes were nicely washed down with more pijiu but no matter how she tried Joyce couldn’t get them to understand Coke Zero. She even tried loudly saying ‘Coke’ and then spelling out ‘zero’ with her finger on the tablecloth. Unfortunately they didn’t get that either.
What on earth are we doing in this giant city where no one speaks English I hear you ask. Well actually we are here to do some work. Volunteer work.
Now that deserves a blog entry all of its own.

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Getting Chillies in Chengdu

  1. Mike

    Looks like someone enjoyed the Chilli Beef, judging by the inroads made on one side of the plate or was that your attempt at manuevering chilli around the plate to make it look as if you enjoyed the dish and not bring shame upon the chef?

  2. Amanda

    O dear………don’t like the idea of the “sweat and sour”………….

  3. Rob P

    Big portions! How are the chinese people so thin?

    Apparently the entire population of China (1.4 billion people) has a LOWER combined Body Mass Index than USA (0.32 billion people) despite having nearly 4 x the people.

    • Now that is a good fact of the day and has somewhat blown our minds as we try to work out what it means. Does it mean that the average American is 4x bigger than a Chinese person? We think not…but that might depend on your definition of ‘bigger’. Hm

  4. Rob P

    I believe that yes, kinda…. I believe it means the EXCESS weight carried by all the Americans added up is greater than all the excess weight carried by the Chinese, despite only have a quarter of the population… hence 4 x the BMI.

    ***Disclaimer, I am medically and fitness wise inept, and in no position to be a credible source of medical/fitness related information. I do however like trivia.

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