Once again, I was busy this weekend. The Automotive department at the college invited us to go with them on another cultural excursion. Everything is paid for so we really are being treated. My teaching assistant had to organise the trip, so he decided to bring us to a dam… a DAM… of all places! At first we were going to see the Buddha, but then it changed to Dūjiāngyàn Irrigation System, 30 minutes by train from Chengdu city.
We didn’t have our hopes up; how exciting could a dam actually be? It is actually considered to be an engineering marvel, as it was the first dam built without using a wall. It was built thousands of years ago, and the men had to dig through the mountain to create another outlet for the river to run though. This was so Chengdu wouldn’t flood anymore. It was successful; since then, Chengdu has never flooded, and the grassland in Chengdu is extremely good for crops now.
The weather was actually good for once. Although there wasn’t much to see, apart from water, it was quite an enjoyable day, strolling around the area. We were kids again when we walked along a long bridge. The boys decided to make the bridge swing from side to side, you could hardly walk on it, it was swaying that much! The poor elderly people were clinging onto dear life.
After that we made our way back to the train, where Charlotte and the Belgium’s decided to hit Chengdu for the night. I, on the other hand decided to have a more cultural night, where I went with Liang, Andy and Simon to visit Liang’s university where he got his Masters degree. It is in Xipu, at the end of Line 2 Subway. The whole University is beautiful… and HUGE. They have very expensive trees in the Uni, where every Autumn their golden leaves drop off and the whole scenery is beautiful. Many people during this time get their wedding photos taken here, because the paths are covered with golden/yellow leaves. Where I am teaching is nowhere near as nice as the University.
We then met his Uni friends and had dinner, then headed back home. From Xipu to the other end of Line 2, it took 1 hour, then 15 minutes in a taxi, arriving home at about 10pm.
On Friday night, me and Charlotte headed to a place in Lóngquán called the TT Bar. The Belgium’s were there so we said we would meet them for an hour. The place was actually good, where they played good songs for once. Chinese love their trance, which is impossible to dance to. Then a drunk Chinese man came over and decided to give me a huge hug…topless…. he then filled my empty glass up with FRUIT JUICE, of all things, and we had to do a toast. So off he went, only to come back again, grab my hand, and take me up to where the Belgium guys were now half pissed, dancing… topless with other topless Chinese men. It really was comical to see. I had to dance with this Chinese man for 10 minutes, him holding one hand, another topless guy holding my other hand.
By this stage I was hot, sweaty and being hunted by topless Chinese men. We called the taxi man and let the boys carry on doing their thing.
We usually get a taxi just outside the college, although they are not ‘real’ taxis, if you get my drift.We noticed when we first got the taxi, the man had a cream jumper on him. When he picked us up from the club, he was now wearing a security uniform from the school, us guessing he is one of the security men! He was so nice, where he drove us right up to the entrance of our apartment. There are 2 blocks of apartments, and he knew which one we lived in and everything.
Also, I have figured, I can learn a phrase a week of Mandarin and actually remember it. The week before last I learned ‘Night Night’, and last week I learned how to say ‘Good Morning’, this week I plan to learn ‘good afternoon’. I could push the boat out altogether and learn ‘good evening’, but I’ll see how ‘good afternoon’ fares first though.