Sunday, February 3, 2013

Back to Chengdu

Day 11 (1st November 2012)

I woke up early. Before 6:00 a.m., I was out on the street to look for breakfast. I was too early. The shop where I had steamed buns two days earlier has not fully opened. Others were still closed. Departure time to Chengdu was 7:30 a.m.

I returned to the hotel before 6:10 a.m. I had arranged with the taxi driver who drove me to the Jiuzhaigou National Park entrance a day earlier to pick me up at 6:30 a.m. He never came. Instead, another taxi driver who came to pick up a couple drove me to the bus station beside Jiu Tong Sunshine Hotel (Jiu Tong Yáng Guāng Chē Zhàn). He charged me extra by quoting RMB15, instead of the standard fare of RMB10. I did not want to be late so I accepted the offer. I was at his mercy.

It was very cold. On arrival at the bus station, I saw a stall selling food in front of the station. I bought a piece of pancake and it was RMB5. Expensive for a piece of plain fried pancake!

At 7:30 a.m., we were off. Along the way, I realised why it was so cold. Winter has set in. Snow was seen everywhere. Seen but unfortunately, not experienced by playing in snow.

The bus driver was a real hell-driver. He overtook all vehicles, except other hell-drivers on sedans bent on dying in road accidents. He took 9 hours, 15 minutes to reach the last bus stop near Xinnanmen Bus Station where we were dropped off at about 4:45 p.m., despite making four stops on the way from Jiuzhaigou.

That evening, while strolling to the back street, I again noticed people walking in and out of a gated alley. I was curious. I went over and it was a market and there were a few shops selling local delicacies. The genuine street food which I have been trying to find has been found. I promised myself I would be back on 4th November on my return to Chengdu after visiting Emei Shan and Leshan Giant Buddha. In the meantime, I must have the Bon Bon Chicken tonight at a small shop I found while searching for the Huaxiba Metro Station on 28th October to go to Wenshu Monastery.

Alas! Bon Bon Chicken is not freshly cooked food. It is cold food and has been prepared and left there for God knows how many hours already. It is takeaway food and I brought it back to Traffic Inn. Luckily, I have with me an unused disposable fork from an instant noodle cup which I brought back from Jiuzhaigou. The Bon Bon Chicken portion was small and the taste was not bad, just overflowing with chilly oil. Left with half a stomach empty, I went out again for Dan Dan Noodle.

That same night, I called Teddy Bear Hotel to make a booking for a night's stay.

 After the Dan Dan Noodle, it was the start of my misery for the next three days. My belly started grumbling.

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