So today I awoke and decided to go out and explore Chengdu a little as I hadn't seen that much of the actual city yet. It was a pretty wet day again and although my laundry had been out on the line for forty eight hours, it was showing little sign of drying so I took it to a dry cleaners across the road from the hostel and for the pricely sum of 20Y (£2) they would dry all of my laundry and would also dry clean a pair of trousers I have that used to be cream coloured but which were now covered in black stains. I dropped my clothes off and then headed out and walked down to Tianfu Square in the South of the city.
It was a nice walk there but when I arrived at the square there weren't many people there and it was just a big open space really. I mean, that in itself is impressive in a city that has so little space and so many people but I did wonder why the square wasn't full of people. After making my way to Peoples Park, my question was answered as it was absolutely teeming with people. There were groups of people dancing, people playing musical instruments and singing, groups of men sat around under pagodas playing mahjong, cards & Chinese chess and then there were the crowds of people stood around watching all of this going on.
The park itself was a really nice space with luscious greenery all around, interspersed with an impressive collection of orchids that people were taking up-close photos of. There was a lake that you could go out boating on but after looking in the ancient looking boats and seeing car batteries sat in the bottom of them in pools of water I decided to give it a miss. I spent a while wandering around and there was one spot which seemed to be the main spot in the park for any would-be dancers. I walked past group after group of dancers and stopped at each one to watch for a couple of minutes however I didn't spend too long there as all of the groups seemed to be having a competition to see who had the loudest PA system and I'm not sure if you've heard old Chinese music before but it sounds like a mixture of screeching & wailing and when it's cranked up to about 400 decibels it's more like a form of torture than music.
On my way around the park I came across people writing on the floor in water with what looked like a giant paintbrush. They were copying out Chinese poetry and although most of it is untranslatable, I liked the way they were writing the characters out in a kind of flowing style and it was still nice to look at. (some people didn't look at it though and instead chose to just walk through it - one of the perils of writing in water on the floor I suppose) After exploring for a while longer I made my way back to my hostel and after the previous nights festivities and walking about all day today I was pretty tired so I watched a couple of episodes of An Idiot Abroad with Tom, Veronika & Patricia and relaxed for a while. Before I went up to bed I arranged to go to see the giant Buddha in Leshan the next morning with Allison so I set my alarm for another early(ish) morning and went to sleep.
Bye for now!