Published: March 28th 2009March 26th 2009
This is in Tianfu Square, downtown Chengdu
The foreign affairs department was kind enough to escort Hua and I into the downtown area of Chengdu. We are about 35-45 minutes away, in a 'suburb' of Chengdu, called Xindu. The main area of Chengdu consists of about 4 mega shopping malls. We walked through some of them, lots of over-priced items (they all have import taxed tacked on, so brands from the US are about $5-15 more expensive), and the women in the different sections of the departments wear the same thing. So for example, all the clerks in the ESPIRIT section wear the same outfit, then another clothing brand has its own assigned uniform-down to the boots/shoes.
We walked to Tianfu square, which is the center of downtown. You can see the giant white statue of Mao lording over the park. In my quest for the perfect Mao picture I sort of snapped a photo of some military/police men strolling by, they were not very happy with me. But I was really just trying to capture a picture of Mao looking insignificant and drowned out in the background of the park...needless to say, I quit snapping after the incident...Probably will not venture into downtown Chengdu too many
An attmept to understate the Mao
warning...this will get you into trouble.
more times. May go with my students to find the cheap boutiques or interesting nooks, but otherwise found it unimpressive. Oh, and saw some white people, but it was in McDonalds waiting for Hua to hurry up and use the bathroom. They did not look overjoyed to see another white person...so I played it cool.
The video uploads are not working for me anymore, but I'll keep trying to get a tour of 'casa del Carey' up here. But, in the mean time, here is a map of campus with my own editing on it! So here is a tour of my world, outside my apartment walls:
#1: My apartment, downstairs is a small grocery store to pick up noodles and crackers.
#2: Building where I do the majority of my teaching, it's about a 7 minute walk from my apartment-see the orange dotted path for my route.
#3: Track where I run in the evenings. Blue dots are my routes, this is usually done in the evenings, when I can run under the cloak of darkness and pretend as if I don't see everyone staring at me.
#4: the library, HUGE! Meet many of my students out front.
All around the park they have foutains ready to spit water in what I can imagine would be a magnificent manner, however they only turn them on for special occasions. Today was not one of them. This is one of the few dragon fountains.
#5: Other building I teach in, this is where I go Thursday mornings for European History class.
#6: Outside campus walls: The Village, this is where I go to get fruits and Mao Cai, my favorite meal.
#7: This is an exercise park for the old people and children. Or, at night, I walk through here after my run and see couples sitting in the dark making out.
#8: Main gate, across the street are a few restaurants that I've eaten at--the Hot Pot places.
#9: Cafeteria that I eat at sometimes.
#10: Basketball courts--24 to be exact, I've yet to school the shorties in a game, but it's coming soon...
The green dots are security posts, the pretty much know who I am by now but still stare a little bit. Beyond the track they're developing the area to expand campus, its going to double in size I believe...The building below my apartment are the Science classrooms, the rest are pretty much apartments for faculty or across campus are all the dorms.
So there's a piece of my life! Just relaxing this weekend, doing some lesson planning, and mapping out future adventures. Oh, got a cell phone! Have
yet to make it work though...Soon!
There are more photos below