Chengdu Kangding China

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July 19th 2010
Published: November 21st 2010
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20/7/10: We were up an about early, we would only stay in Kangding for one night choosing to spent more time in Chengdu instead. We said goodbye to Martin and left for the bus station. As we headed to Chengdu in a bus, the raging river running parallel to the road increased in size with every waterfall and adjoining stream. Eventfully it joined an even bigger river that had massive amounts of water flowing down the gorge. We passed some massive construction sites damming the river; I would think it was for hydro electricity. The mountains were massive; to view the summit meant kinking you neck to look straight up through the bus window.
We were tired when we reached Chengdu plus it was raining hard. We found a hostel in the Lonely Planet guide book called Holly’s Hostel, the dorms were expensive in comparison to what we were paying in the country but cheap for a big city, 35yuan /person. We spent the rest of the day having a beer and eating pizza at Holly’s hostel restaurant.
21/7/10: After swapping rooms from an 8bed dorm to a 6bed dorm just so we could get some sleep we ended in the same room as Nat and Dan. We then went to the markets with Nat and Dan located in the north of Chengdu. The markets were absolutely huge; they had anything from clothes to computer equipment and anything in between at an unbelievable price. We spent a lot of time shopping for kitchen stuff to send back to Australia. The rest of the day was spent drinking beer.
22/7/10: We went back to the markets to get some more things so we had a decent amount to send back to Australia. Nat and Dan went to the big Buddha that proved to be a big waste of money. After walking outside the markets there was a crowd of people standing around watching two men arguing with a woman trying to separate the two. It appeared to be road rage and one guy nursed a swollen eye and forehead. The argument finished when the guy got back in his car and tried to reverse backwards from the protesting man. The guy gave chase and reached through the window and beat the man on his head while clutching him in a head lock. The driver broke loose winding up the window while the others restrained the agro man. We caught the bus back to the hostel dumped our shopping and intended on going to the computer market with Nat and Dan. We spent a lot of time looking at shops on the way and didn't realise that it would probably be closed when we got there so we turned around and went back to the hostel spending the rest of the day drinking beer.
23/7/10: We had a big day at the computer market today, we brought a Garmin GPS for an agreed price of 1750Yuan and this was supposed to include maps for Australia, Europe, USA, and China in English. The next day when we arrived to pick up the GPS they still wanted 1750yuan for USA and Europe with no map of Australia and a Chinese map we could not read. We bargained a price of 1600 yuan and threaten to walk; they reluctantly excepted our price and ended up giving us a free case for the mix up. We also purchased Windows7 and Office 2007 for our laptops, this cost a grand total of 30yuan for the disk; bargain. Later that afternoon Martin arrived at our hostel, it was great to see him again. We all agreed to go out for a Sichuan Hot Pot. We ordered various dishes and cooked it in the piping hot broth, you could also choose to spice up your meal in the chilly/ sesame seed oil; the chilly really tested out the men from the boys. After the meal we retired to our 6bed dorm spending the rest of the night drinking beer.
24/7/10: It was back to the computer market again to help Nat and Dan scout out a laptop for them. They both ended up getting a great deal on an Aseus and a Samsung notebook. We also couldn't resist buying an external DVD drive for 180yuan. I wanted to buy some movie editing software, it was impossible to say Sony Vegas or Final Cut to a non speaking Chinese through words from the guide book so I drew a picture of a film strip and a pair of scissors cut the film. One younger guy was on the ball and guess what I was on about, he was nice enough to translate the exact words of the software in Chinese for me. They never did have the software and the gathering crowd was upset that I never carried on the Pictionary game. The young man that guessed the software approached me later and offered me a free copy of his Sony Vegas, he was a film editor teacher, he only lived 5min walk away and he invited me to join him and his girlfriend back to his house so he could run me a copy. They both were so nice and welcoming I would have liked to have time to get them know them better. The copy failed to burn so he gave me a free 1GBpen drive instead; so nice. After a few photos I said my goodbyes and swapped email addresses.
Walking out from the computer market to go home we watched an older crossing guard lady argue with a younger lady while waiting to cross the busy road. We didn't understand anything they were saying but when we all walked across the younger lady wanted the last say and shoulder barged the older lady, I thought there was going to be fists flying but the argument heated up more, the older crossing lady refuse a free passage for the younger lady and cut her off in every direction; we all laughed at how many fights we had seen so far in China. We all found our way back to the hostel and finished the night drinking beer and installing Windows 7. Dan and Nat were so excited about their first laptops staying up late in the night to play with them. We all sat around drinking beer until bedtime.

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