Wide and Narrow Alleys
I dropped dead last night around 7 PM from all the walking we did and awoke to Hunt coming in the room around midnight to sleep. At this point I felt well rested and falling back asleep seemed impossible. I laid they’re messing around on my phone, thinking and looking out the window at all the bright lights shining through the city below.
He started snoring quite loud and making noises in his sleep so I decided to pull out my sleeping bag and crash on the living room couch. Within a few minutes I fell into a slumber around 3 AM.
I awoke later today than the earlier days. My body is almost adjusted to the new time zone, but I’m still fighting this sickness and my swollen throat and tonsils make it hard to talk without a tingling scratch in the back of my mouth.
I sat around for a while just lounging with Jelte. I grabbed some android apps for my phone to make my stay in China easier.
–Map of China
-Still looking for a Chinese/English dictionary app
I sorted out all that jazz and hit the road to get my phone fixed. I met up with Hunt (Eric) who translated for me at the SIM store. They gave me my change of 50 RMB I forgot the day before, fixed my SIM card and set one number to my phone. I found out I am not on a 12 month contract. When I’m done I can just leave the country and be done with it.
We sorted that out relatively fast. Now I at least have a phone with 3g to keep in touch with the Germans and Eric. It’s cheap, but it works. I spent more money on the phone and train ticket than I have on food and water for the past week.
I walked to Hampson learning with Eric and filled out a job application. They set up an interview for tomorrow at 2 PM. According to Eric it’s easy to get a job since I’m a native speaker of the language.
I thought about walking back to the apartment, but decided to tag along with Eric and his parents to explore the Wide and Narrow Alley tourist attractions in ChengDu. He taught me how to use the train, which is quite simple. Our home stop is Nijiaqiao Station and Exit C. We got on the Line 2 and headed towards Tianfu Square to meet up with his parents. I’m not quite sure where we took the metro from there, but we ended up exploring the alleyways, which shed much Chinese culture. Every stand held a piece of history. Vendors sold Chinese beads with hand engravings, hand blown glass statues of native animals and Big Buddha’s. Women wore bright, blue, detailed cultural gowns and covered their faces in white makeup. Huge black and white feathers stuck out of their bunned up hair while they fanned themselves and stood pretty.
I wish my camera’s flash worked properly. Most of the pictures here don’t do justice to actually walking through the crowded alleyways and not only seeing the culture, but feeling it too.
A few stands sold random crap that you see in America at flea markets and dollar stores. However, many specialized in Chinese jewelry, expensive hand-made wooden furniture, cultural foods, and intricate, high-end clothing.
Some bracelets ran cheap. Furniture and clothing…forget it. Most prices exceeded 10,000 to 100,000 RMB. I am uncertain of the quality, but being hand-made, I assume durability and quality are important to them to bring in the rich spendthrifts.
We walked by one stand and I turned back noticing a series of bobble head dolls. I laughed and tears ran down my cheeks at the sight of an Obama bobble head doll. They certainly have a decent sense of humor. The alleys looped into a square and spit us back to where we started. Many areas took my breath away, but they didn’t allow pictures in these parts.
What I posted above are the best photos from the night that turned out halfway decent. Enjoy!