Okay, I really can’t stop listening to the song I posted this morning. I also sent it out to a bunch of coworkers this morning in celebration of a momentous birthday and just making it halfway through the week. And this week has seemed long! But I think that was partially because a lot happen in the past few days. Last week I spent a few nights hanging out with friends and visiting Raffles City, a mall where all the international schools in the area had art displayed. Then, on Friday night, Melissa and I went out to eat at Tandoor, an Indian restaurant. The food there is pricey but delicious. Afterwards, we walked across the street to the Bookworm to attend the opening session of the Chengdu Literary Festival. Speakers from all over the world come to talk about literacy and life; there are presentations, workshops, speeches, and contests that last the entire month of March. The first speaker was Anna Chen who gave her Anna May Wong Must Die presentation. While I learned a lot, the presentation wasn’t exactly what a lot of people had expected so there was a lot of discussion afterwards over whether it was as informative as it could have been.
An interesting Friday night was followed by a calm Saturday. Then, on Sunday, a few of us went to the Stone Elephant Lake Tulip Festival about an hour away in Pujiang County. I’ll spare you the details of the insane bus ride and the four confused laowai trying to figure out how to pick up our pre-paid tickets to enter the park and then trying to figure out where to buy bus tickets back to Chengdu. Suffice to say, we survived. We were at Shixiang Lake for hours, touring the grounds, snapping photos, falling in mud (okay, that was just me), and enjoying time away from the smoggy city. Coming back to Chengdu from such a colorful, vibrant place felt a bit like Dorothy returning to Kansas after seeing the splendor of Oz.