Quick post with some pictures before we leave for Sichuan (from which will come more pictures I’m sure). A couple fun stories from the last days of homestay. First of all my host sister and aunt love to use the word unbelievable in casual conversation (just like us Americans like to insert words from Spanish, French, or whatever other language we like to pretend to speak. Of course, I had to point out that inconceivable is a much more fun word to use, which of course led to a conversation about the Princess Bride, so we watched it, it was wonderful. And it actually had decent Chinese subtitles, the fam liked it, and they can certainly say “inconceivable” now, mission accomplished :D.
My last half day with them we went to a temple fair, much like a county fair in America. Food, performances, knickknacks, carnival games etc. The one difference was a large amount of stalls selling faucets, power tools, and other home-use devices, somewhat strange, very funny. This fair actually wasn’t in a temple, but it was on the old site of the West Market, the terminus/beginning of the Silk Road (I’ve mentioned it before). Had a pretty cool museum with not a whole lot in it. That does seem to be another aspect of modern Chinese culture. Pretty, impressive buildings with a lot of empty space on the inside. The Century Mall in Chengdu, the largest building in the world volume wise, actually only has four floors of stores (as well as a waterpark, ice skating rink, and ropes course), and a lot of empty space up above.
Came back to campus and saw all my classmates, which was nice, played pool, went to karaoke, fun times. Thought I’d take advantage of the free day today to actually go to the Drum and Bell Towers, which were well worth it. Both had some musical performances which were really cool. They also had some pretty bread upstairs, I took a couple pictures. It’s a folk art domestic to Shaanxi. I am a little surprised the towers survived the Cultural Revolution, as Chengdu’s ancient imperial palace was destroyed in a fervor of patriotism during the same period. We followed that up with a trip to the Forest of Steles museum which is exactly what it sounds like. Lots of steles, we saw, we left, now I’m here. Enjoy the photos! The first one’s of the aunt outside my homestay family’s house who makes one of my favorite street foods, 煎饼 （jianbing, gee-en bing). It’s a big thin crepe with an egg cracked and cooked on it. Add some scallions, pickled onions, savory sauce, peppers, lettuce, crunchy bits, all rolled up in a handwrap of goodness and you get handheld heaven. What struck me the most about her though were how well manicured her fingers were. And the deliciousness of the jianbing.