Chengdu is the city where I spent almost a year of my life and I carry very good memories of that period. I am still in touch with many of my friends who live there, and I managed to see most of them while I was travelling. As I landed in Chengdu, my friend Anita with whom I used to sing together in a choir and her Taiwanese fiancé Tony were waiting for me at the arrivals.
I quickly checked in, left my stuff in my dorm and reunited with them downstairs so that we could go and grab some food together. We headed instead to a Chinese barbeque place close-by. I personally find shaokao delicious, and when I was living bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo China, I used to have it at least once a week for dinner.
I remember that the very first time I was in Chengdu, I had some dumplings with a spicy sauce which I had never tried before — I literally cried for five minutes because the spicy taste was too strong! When Anita, Tony and I went for some shaokao that night, I forgot to tell the cook to add very little chilli and ended up once again almost in tears not bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo mention the resulting stomach issues that accompanied me the day after.
Bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo told me she was about to open a cheesecake shop with Tony, and she bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo really excited about that. They have the ability to keep reinventing themselves and Anita made no exception.
In the evening, I met my friend Solomon for dinner. He took me to a nice local restaurant and ordered food rigorously not spicy! We only spent a couple of hours together, but they were totally worth it. This is the place where you can learn everything about pandas, as well as see them in their natural habitat. It is in fact much more bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo a simple zoo!
I had already been there a couple of times, but since it is indeed a unique place, I was eager to visit it again. As that day was particularly humid and hot, unfortunately, we were only able to spot one giant panda and a few red pandas bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo — all the others were kept inside and we could only see them behind glass panels.
However, I managed to see something I had never seen before, i. There were some newborn pandas in the incubators and a few other slightly older cubs in another room, and they were all extremely cute. Cielo and I roamed the centre for a while and then headed back to the city to get some lunch.
When I arrived, Anita took a break from what she was doing to chat a while with me. To my total bemusement, she told me that she and Tony had just got married that same morning. So basically that day they had attended a quick ceremony in the morning, and then had gone to work in the afternoon — could it get more extra ordinary?! I was supposed to meet one of my ex-teachers, Ariel, for dinner, so I told her to meet me at the shop to save time. She took me to a cool area with a few restaurants and picked one that turned out to be really nice.
It was an enjoyable evening indeed. As we made our way to the countryside, the landscape gradually changed from small urban centres to fields of tea and rural houses. Shortly after, we reached a sort of impasse, as a car was coming from the opposite direction and my friend would have had to reverse for a fair bit to let the other car through. Since she started to panic, I offered to reverse the car for her.
She was my navigator until we reached our destination — a countryside restaurant that was apparently quite renowned. Liu Ya was there waiting for us. The heat was scorching, and going from the chilly air-con environment of the car to the muggy 38 degrees outside was almost traumatic — even the girls were struggling in their elegant summery attire. Nevertheless, the place was lovely — an ancient-looking building with visible grey bricks and nice decorations all around.
There was no menu, and we got what the house had to offer that day. We spent another hour or so lazying in our chairs, and I played for a bit a guitar that was sitting there. Afterwards, we headed for the highlight of the day — a pottery art centre where they usually hold workshops and sell pottery.
It was a bit hard to understand everything they were saying, as they spoke with a thick Sichuanese accent, but also because the heat was very strong at that stage despite a few fans blowing air to us. After checking out the shop, we went back to the car and drove out of the village and back to the main road.
I bade them farewell and went back to the hostel, where I spent a cool, relaxing evening. On the final day of my trip, I was meant to meet bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo few more friends before heading over to the airport.
In the morning, I went to visit Daniel, a guy I know from Dublin and whom I used to play tennis with. Daniel is originally from Chengdu; he went to Ireland for a language course and, after returning to his homeland, he set up bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo European-style bed-and-breakfast business.
When he heard I was going to spend some time in Chengdu, he offered to host me, but I chose instead to be in a more central bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo. To be fair, I found his place bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo good — it was decorated in a lovely way with themes reflecting his passions tennis, Europe and music.
Bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo chatted over some refreshing beer and then headed for lunch with one of his guests. They chose a traditional restaurant in a shopping mall — not the best food, but good enough for a quick meal. Time for some souvenir pictures and I was already hitting the road again. I quickly became aware of all the changes that both the university and its surroundings had undergone: there was a new metro line leading directly to the university; the bus station in front of my dorm had been replaced by a tall block of flats; all the street works that were once flecked in the whole area and filled the air with dust and smog were now over, leaving room for a nice, clean and bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo greenish neighbourhood; a lot of spaces inside the campus had been revamped and modernised, including parking lots, parks and sport grounds.
The only thing that seemed to be neglected was the old athletic track, which was anyway not in use as such even when I was living there. I walked all the way across the campus taking in everything I saw and letting memories fill my head as if someone suddenly removed the cap that was restraining them in some remote corner of my mind.
After this emotional walk in the past, I partially returned to the present, as I had planned to meet my former workmates, who were at the time part of the Chinese staff at the language school I used to teach. Kiki, Emma and Angie were the only ones whom I managed to see that afternoon. We caught up on our lives over some cake, and they told me that only a few of them were still working at the school — in the meantime, the school had expanded a lot not only bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo Chengdu but also in other cities, and many new branches had popped up in just a few years, in perfect Chinese style.
I could only stay with them for a short while because time was running up. I jumped on a bus to the city centre and had the chance to have a quick tour of the city as we drove by. Then, I went back to the hostel, grabbed my stuff, caught a taxi and finally got on the air coach to the airport. The flight went pretty smooth — the experience was much better compared to the way to Moscow. Etihad was the airline I chose to travel with for the return flight.
I had already flown with them a few times so I knew what to expect — ok-ish food, great in-flight entertainment and little sleep. After a comfortable stopover in Abu Dhabithe plane landed in Dublin more than an hour before schedule.
My long journey was finally over and, as it had often happened in the past, it was a remarkable one. I managed to visit two new countries and, for the first time, to travel along one of the most if not the most famous railways in the world. Moreover, I took the opportunity to go to China once again and refresh so many good memories I had.
Sono ancora in contatto con parecchi amici che vivono là e sono riuscito a vedermi con la maggior parte di loro mentre ero in viaggio. Ognuno di loro era desideroso di portarmi da qualche parte per pranzo o bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo, di andare a visitare qualche luogo o semplicemente di passare del tempo con me. Atterrato a Chengdu, la mia amica Anita con la quale cantavo in un coro e Tony, il suo fidanzato di Taiwan, mi stavano aspettando agli arrivi in aeroporto.
Ho velocemente fatto il check-in, mollato la mia roba in camera e mi sono ricongiunto con loro di sotto per andare a mangiare qualcosa insieme. Personalmente, penso che lo shaokao sia delizioso e, quando vivevo in Cina, ero solito mangiarne almeno una volta a settimana per cena. Tuttavia, sono riuscito a vedere qualcosa che non avevo mai visto prima, ovvero dei cuccioli di panda.
Con mio grande stupore, mi ha detto che quella mattina lei e Tony si erano sposati. Ridacchiando, Anita mi ha spiegato che avrebbero festeggiato in serata e nei giorni successivi. Siccome dovevo incontrarmi per cena con una mia ex insegnante, Ariel, le ho suggerito di incontrarci al negozio per risparmiare tempo.
La cucina era tipica della regione di Shanghai e il cibo era molto gustoso la cucina cinese è molto variegata, ma sfortunatamente solo una piccola parte di essa si riesce a trovare nei ristoranti cinesi in Europa. Mentre ci inoltravamo nella campagna, il panorama cambiava gradualmente, passando dai piccoli centri urbani ai campi da tè e alle case rurali. Mi sono reso conto che Jiangbo non sembrava molto a suo agio a guidare in quelle bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo di campagna.
Dato che la mia amica stava per andare nel panico, mi sono offerto di far io quella manovra al suo posto. Liu Ya era già là ad aspettarci. Non essendoci un menù, abbiamo mangiato quello che offriva la casa quel giorno. Non è stato semplice per me capire tutto quello che dicevano perché parlavano con un accento locale forte ed anche perché a quel punto faceva molto caldo nonostante i ventilatori puntati verso di noi.
Io, al contrario, sono riuscito a malapena a modellare una ciotolina, che in bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo non era malaccio. Jiangbo è ritornata alla guida e ci ha portato a un paese vicino dove io e Liu Ya dovevamo prendere ciascuno il rispettivo pullman. Le ho salutate e sono tornato al mio ostello, dove ho passato una serata rilassante al fresco.
Nella mattinata, sono andato a trovare Daniel, un amico che ho conosciuto a Dublino e con cui di solito giocavo a tennis. Giusto il tempo di scattare un paio di foto ricordo ed ero di nuovo per strada. Bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo questa bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo emozionante nel passato, sono parzialmente tornato al presente.
Dovevo incontrarmi con dei miei ex colleghi che erano a suo tempo parte dello staff cinese nella scuola dove insegnavo. Kiki, Emma e Angie sono state le uniche che sono riuscito a vedere. Ci siamo aggiornati a vicenda davanti a una fetta di torta e mi hanno raccontato che solo qualcuno di loro lavorava ancora alla scuola. Nel frattempo, la scuola aveva avuto una certa espansione non bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo a Chengdu, ma anche in altre città e molte filiali erano comparse nel giro di pochi anni, in perfetto stile cinese.
Sono potuto restare con loro solamente per poco perché il tempo a mia disposizione stava per terminare. Per il ritorno avevo scelto di volare con Etihad.
Avevo già bere fermato Ural pelmeni durante anno nuovo con loro alcune volte in passato e sapevo cosa aspettarmi: cibo accettabile, intrattenimento fantastico e poco sonno. Il mio lungo viaggio era infine giunto al termine e, come spesso accadutomi in passato, è stato un viaggio memorabile. Sono riuscito a visitare due nuovi paesi e per la prima volta a viaggiare lungo una delle ferrovie più famose se non la più famosa al mondo.
Despite the fact that the Trans-Mongolian railway officially ends in Beijing, I extended my trip to Chengdua city to which I am particularly attached, having lived there for almost a year between and Mel and I spent the final few hours in the desert watching our host family carrying out more routine tasks. Once he finished, he hung all the different parts of the animal on the inside of their ger so that they could dry. Meanwhile, mother and daughter were once again milking mares and cows.
After some minutes, the woman rushed in to tell us that the jeep was coming and that we needed to walk up to the main road.