I have been getting interesting emails on the food China Olympics 2008 Patrons were able to sample lately. It’s an amusing to see as it reminded me of our last day in Chengdu, China. After having visited the Panda Adventure, we decided to go around the city since our train ride going down south of China will be in the evening. Riding a bus, our eyes caught this highly ornamented looking street that we just decided to go down and check it out.
Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics just a few days ahead, I thought I feature one of China’s beloved National Treasure, the Pandas. Those droopy blotched-eyes and thick white fur are just so adorable that a kid would easily mistake them for a living stuffed toy. Pandas have been considered as a “living fossil” since they have walked among the saber-toothed cats in the Pleistocene period and have miraculously survived the changing earth conditions until this time. They have been a symbol of conservation that’s why it’s no wonder the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) used the Panda as their main logo for their cause. In China Chengdu, we were lucky enough to get up close and personal with these creatures at the largest Giant Panda Eco-Park in the World – the Panda Adventure.
Tofu has been one of my favorite dishes and whenever I had a chance to eat at a local Chinese Restaurant, I would sometimes order a Mapo Tofu. It’s one of my favorite Chinese dish with tofu, minced beef swimming in the red sea of chili and spicy sauce. This fiery dish has also been popular around the world. When we were in Chengdu, China we made sure not to miss eating Mapo Tofu on where the dish was actually created – at Chen’s Mapo Tofu Restaurant.
During our backpacking expedition in South West China, I’m always on the lookout for fellow kababayans which we may cross path with on our journey. I know its a sign of missing home a bit but being in a place for days where you only hear foreign languages being spoken, it’s a big relief to hear and see a fellow Pinoys along the way. Unfortunately throughout our 11 days in China, we only caught a couple who we heard spoke in Tagalog. Wasn’t able to took to them though since they quite a distance already. Few weeks after I posted Charming Chengdu, hearing a Pinoy living and working in Chengdu was still a relief even if I’m no longer there. I wanted to know the conditions there right now after the earthquake so I asked John, a Filipino Architect living and working in Chengdu.
I’ll be trying to post some entries every other day just to catch up on some of my back logs. I hope it would not cause some confusion as I jump from one feature destination to another. It would be more helpful clicking on the tags so you could get an outline of the series. My South West China chronicle hasn’t even reached the middle part yet. I decided to hold it for a while after the quake which hit the area a few weeks ago. Knowing China’s capabilities in infrastructure, I know the city structures there would be up in no time. Still it’s a big hit in terms of people’s condition.
I know in our country we already have a lot of problems to take care of. Like the recent Typhoon Cosme which ravaged Zambales and left a few people dead, the rising prices and even worse, politics. I seldom read or watch the news so I’m not really updated on political situations but in environmental and calamity news, I make sure to pay attention. When I learned about the Cyclone that hit Burma (didn’t even know Cyclones exist here in south east Asia) I was devastated by the news. And I was more surprised recently on what happened to Sichuan China lately. That 7.9 earthquake which hit south-west China left more than 3000 people dead. For this I offer my deepest condolences to the families, victims and the Chinese government.
Before going any further about my trip in mainland China, I first have to tell you something about their culture. Unlike the coastal cities in China, almost NO ONE can speak in English there which can be quite a challenge. So unless you have a friend who can read and speak “passable” Chinese, a guide book with Chinese characters or hire a professional guide, it can be hard to survive there. Aside from that, they have behaviors that can be “Culturally Shocking” to us Filipinos or other Foreign nationals as well. If any people from the Mainland China is reading this, I meant no disrespect but only give my honest observation that can lessen the initial “shock” first timers may get. In fact other Chinese also detest some of their boorish behavior. It’s a reality we can’t change, since these may have rooted since ancient times. So what I advise is to keep an open mind. Once you get past these you’ll be able to adapt and enjoy your stay there.