First Day Alone

on Friday, 14 May 2010

Tom has to leave at about 7am to get the bus, which leaves the station at eight. Today I have decided to just spend the day exploring Chengdu. I catch the bus into the city centre, the busses are absolutely packed, so it is very cramped, but the fact that I am almost 2 foot taller than anyone else makes it feel less so. The bus only costs 1.8Y and they run every five minutes or so. I get of the bus near Tianfu square and have a little walk around, there is a huge statue of Mao overlooking the square. Behind the statue is the science and technology museum. I get a ticket for 30Y although find out that maybe using my student/youth card I could have got half price. Inside, it is absolutely huge, not the size of the science museum in London, but still massive, with 5 floors with 4 sections per floor. The place is absolutely empty of visitors. I see maybe ten people, but the place is full of staff, including an elevator man sitting on every elevator. Quite a few of the interactive attractions inside are either closed or not working, which was a shame, the place must be making a huge loss with no customers and so many staff. Afterwards I have a look around the shops and buy a few pieces of clothes, as some of mine are way too big now. On the way back to the hostel, I stop at Wenshu monastery and have a look round, I get chatting to a Chinese guy in the monastery, but his English is not very good and my Chinese is even worse, so we get very far. I chill out at the hotel and meet up with Alex and Ben, they had done pretty much the same ting today, but had also gone to the peoples park and said it was brilliant.

In the evening I went back to Tianfu square to watch the water show. On the way I stopped at the peoples park and had a  look around. They have a big square in the middle and there was music play and loads of people just dancing, young and old, men and women, couples and people by themselves. Some of the people dancing were almost in a trance like state, it was as if everyone was on drugs, but I think maybe this is just how the Chinese are, unbelievably chilled out and happy. One guy was particularly into it and was trying to dance with anyone and everyone. There were also lots of classes going on, some of which seemed to be Caporeia, the kung fu style dancing. There was also lots of people playing badminton and just generally a lot of people speed walking, clapping, exercising or just walking round the park half walking half dancing. It was actually really contagious and you felt yourself starting to have a little dance as you walked subconsciously. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t spend longer there, you could spend hours just people watching. The water show started at 8pm till 9pm, so I quickly rushed up the road to the square to watch it. The city was totally different in the evening, all the buildings had multi colour light shows, yet it was still as busy if not more so than during the day. The water show started, and the fountains were massive, I watched and took photos for about twenty minutes, until I noticed that it was actually quite repetitive, so headed back to the hotel, as I was leaving quite early the next day. I got back and went and had a few drinks with Ben and Alex and a few other guys from the hostel. We ended up staying up till about 1am before finally getting to be.