So it's been a while since I posted. I had my first long break of the year with National week. I went traveling with friends, but I'm afraid that because I was tired and stressed and at times frustrated I got passive-aggressive and snappy with them. I know better than that and that they deserve better from me. I'm sure they had their own stresses and frustrations too. And I snapped about the smallest things too...I need to send a pretty big apology to them for that. I'm not the best travel buddy...That's not to say it was all stress and frustration though. I had a really good time out in Sichuan despite feeling really tired and missing my kids a lot. I got to see Wenshu Yuan which I wanted to see when I was accepted by the Colorado China Council and I got to see the pandas in Chengdu as well. Our hostel was pretty nice and not too badly priced, we were close to Wenshu Yuan and walked out to the Tibetan quarter as well. Seeing Chongqing after hearing Dad talk about it so much was pretty wonderful too. I wasn't sure what he meant when talked about a massive city in a forest, but going around Sichuan I did notice a lot of trees and vines. I haven't seen that quite as much in the places I've been to in Hunan. Chongqing really surprised me with all its greenery and the vines waving around on the highways.
Chongqing was a tough place to maneuver around both as foreigners and as tourists during National Week. Our appearances obviously set us apart and meant that a number of times people offered high prices for services. We also struggled to understand where our hostel was relative to where we were since we had no map with us and couldn't really say how long it would take to get to Ciqi Kou, an older style part of the city. I wish we had spent more than a day out in Chongqing. I'd like to go back and explore at a different pace and see about this laid back lifestyle that Sichuanese people are known for. In particular, they are known for spending lots of time in teahouses playing mahjong and chatting, though I've also seen ear cleaners make their rounds in teahouses too. Sadly, I did not buy any tea since I felt I couldn't carry it if I did but I have no doubt I can pick up tea just about anywhere I go in China.
I'm a 3rd year WorldTeach volunteer.