Sichaun Hotpot and Chinese Opera

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
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Trip End Dec 15, 2011


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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

08:08 Early start today. Up at 7 to leave for the airport at 8. Had 2 eggs on toast for breakfast which should keep me going.
I heard last night and saw from the news this morning that we are bombing libya. I only left England about 6 weeks ago and the world has gone mad! Just what business it is of ours to start bombing a country that is having an internal tiff, I have no idea. Especially as we have done nothing about what that bastard mugabe has done in Zimbabwe. Oh yeah! Oil!
Some of you will know that when I was 16 I went to RAF Cranwell to apply for the RAF as a pilot. Clearly this didn't work out and now having MS it would never have worked out. But I do recall a question they asked me in an interview, how would I feel about being asked to bomb a place that I didn't necessarily think I should bomb. I remember probably quite naively answering that I'd do whatever I was ordered to do because whoever made the decision must know what they were doing. I know now that my conscience and moral compass are pretty firmly pointed in one direction and I'm not sure how I'd feel getting involved in something like that.
You know what, it's 8am and it's a sunny day outside and I'm in China. It's too early to be this thoughtful. The things on my worry list are-
 
will my rucksack get any lighter. Yes, in Hong Kong
 
Will my clothes fall apart! I hope not!
 
Will my rucksack break? I also hope not, although I've had to do a repair as one of the shoulder straps has come away from the bit that holds it onto the padded area, so I've done wonders with parcel tape. (sorry bun! It's had a pod innings over the last 10 years!)

 09:16 Got to the airport and weighed my bag. My daysack is 9kg and my rucksack is 18kg
 
12:31 One of our group can't eat wheat, but she does very well tucking into all the foods here. No one has been ill apart from the odd cold, so long may this continue.

 14:02 We've arrived in Chengdu, it was a fairly bumpy flight, and we're quite late, and hungry.

 14:26 Chengdu is in the Sichuan region, and is famous for hot food, hot weather and hot fashion (hence hot girls and boys!)

15:25 I found myself telling a lady off today who tried to queue jump about 10 people for the toilet. No one else said anything so I did and sure enough she moved! Grr!

15:26 Time now for Sichuan hotpot lunch. We have a metal split vat with 2 liquids in and a bunsen burner where it is kept hot. Half is very spicy the other half milder. We are about to learn how all this works.
They brought some meat - sausage, fish balls and crab sticks and put in the liquids to cook some flavour in. Sauce is coming to go with the foods.
Ok, so you put the meat and the veg into the hotpot to cook. We also had potatoes, mushrooms of 2 types, tofu, lamb, beef, fish balls, pak choi, and unlimited drinks to wash it down and keep the burning at bay. I must have drunk 2 litres of coke as I feel so much more awake now after that meal (it's 5pm now).

19:11 I wandered into a food Market, it smelt really bad and I soon found why, in the middle was a fish Market, lots of live fish in tanks and then duely whacked over the head and gutted to order. I suppose it's nice to know you'll be getting very fresh fish. There were also bullfrogs and shrimp and eels. I watched a lady order some. The fishmonger put a loa in a bucket, sat down, picked one up by the tail whacked it's head over the table, put the head through a spike in a board, grabbed it's tail then ran his knife down the top half of the skeleton to get the top meat off, then took the spinal bit out and put the meaty bits in a pot. His hands were covered in blood. I've never seen this before. It didn't bother me in the slightest in fact and I'd love my fish to be that fresh.

They also had lots of little shops with herbs and spices in tubs all along the front. I got some funny looks in there, more of surprise i think.

22:01 Just got back from the chinese opera which was really really good. There was singing, dancing, changing faces, fire breathing an other stuff. I'll put some if the clips i took up on YouTube once I get access to it again I'm Hong Kong. So much is banned here, YouTube, Facebook and even google occasionally. Certainly if you ask to see anything about tiananmen square here you get a timeout, connection reset error.
We're at the Jinhe hotel tonight, last massive bed we'll have for a couple of nights as the monastery awaits us tomorrow.

Right now, 10pm, im off to sleep because we've another early start.

Best thing: Sichuan hot pot

Worst thing: it being a travelling day

Most beautiful: the opera in the evening

Most disgusting: toilets (smell or use of) or live fish being hacked to bits (smell or the blood and guts) can't decide. Probably the toilets in fact.
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Comments

Lizziekins on

You just had to give the toilets a mention didn't you!

Thanks Zoe's Dad for keeping us posted.

von_adder
von_adder on

Your alive!

Tho i did get a sneaky email this morning telling me so lol, love the way you fobbed off the fish mutilations that's too much time spent playing Borderlands if you ask me.

On a different note, your photo's Zoe have been absolutely stunning...career change maybe? :P

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