Monday, November 26, 2012

People's Park, Chengdu

Morning, Day 2 (23 October 2012)

Today, I had wanted to get a SIM card for my Sony Xperia P, for the Google map. I saw SIM cards displayed on the shelf behind the reception desk at Traffic Inn. However, I was told by a staff that the lady in charge was not in and he advised me that I should just buy it from China Unicom. How on earth was I to find China Unicom?

My programme for today was to visit interesting places in Chengdu, i.e. Jinli Street and Wuhou Ci. However, the staff at the reception recommended People's Park. As such, I got a taxi for RMB9.00 to People's Park to one of the park entrances.

There was really not much to see. There were tea houses with mostly elderly Chinese playing mahjong at the tables, sipping tea or simply relaxing there. There were also a lake and a nicely manicured garden.

I exited at another entrance and decided to stroll around. I soon find myself at Tian Fu Square and explored its metro station too. The metro station was like KL and Singapore's MRT.

Using my Garmin GPS, I was not worried about getting lost.

Exploring the streets, I found strange food for lunch. There were bunches of sticks of animal parts and unknown food skewered to bamboo sticks dipped in big bowls of fiery looking oily soup. I ended up with a simple lunch of rice and stewed belly pork with preserved vegetable, though I told the shop owner I wanted a meat dish and a vegetable dish.

Using the GPS unit, I was able to find my way back on foot easily.

On returning to Traffic Inn, I checked again with reception, now with different people on duty. I was told that the SIM card she was selling was for phone calls only, not for data communication. It would cost me RMB80, with a call value of RMB50.

I hesitated and did not buy it until later in the afternoon. I felt that I needed to call Y, a Couchsurfing acquaintance. I had promised her that I would call her when I arrived in Chengdu and I have not done so even until now. She had obliged me with her phone number and email address already.

Finally, after an hour or two, I went back to reception to buy the SIM card to call Y. Y told me she just had an operation and was just about to leave the hospital. After a short conversation, we agreed that she would call me when she was ready to meet me. She needed to rest to recuperate. In the meantime, we agreed that I needed not wait for her at Traffic Inn, as was originally suggested by Y herself. She had meant to meet me on the way back from hospital. With that, I made plan to visit Jinli Street and Wuhou Ci.

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