James Li in Chengdu

Chengdu 2016

Getting out of Zhenzhou was a big flap.

My old passport had the name Hugh Warren Stewart. I lost it, and ordered a new one. I did not notice that it had the name Hugh W Stewart.

I ordered tickets with the name Hugh Warren Stewart. Now the name on the ticket and that on my passport do not match.

Big problem. A security person went off with the passport and boarding pass, and after maybe 15 minutes returned and I was allowed to proceed.

I assume this problem will be repeated in Chengdu and Hohhot.

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province (think hot spicy food). It is also the home of China’s panda preserve, which Sharon and I visited in 2012. I am here to visit Qingzhi (James) Li, an SSU graduate in 2015. A tall, handsome man, James was known by almost every one on campus. Although he did not need homestays, he participated in many of the WISH activities, and having a car, would bring a carload of students. At graduation, he gave the commencement speech – it was excellent.

It is hot here, as it was in Zhengzhou, tho’ not quite as humid. The city is very big, and filled with very modern buildings.

James’ apartment is fabulous – it feels like a luxury hotel!

We had breakfast in a local shop where a man was hand making noodles I love to watch it.

Visited the Chengdu Museum in downtown. Marvelous early history of the region. There are many museums in Chengdu – we visited an archeological museum in 2012 that was terrific.

Attended a “Chinese Opera” – more like an old fashioned burlesque show. Several acts of singing, dancing, acrobatics, and a face changer. He was amazing – instantly changes his face. Great fun.

I am impressed by the quantity and quality of beautiful modern store, and hoards of shoppers on a Tuesday afternoon. We passed more brand names than I can recall. And in another category, there are Starbucks, KFC, McDonalds, and more fa,I liar names. KFC has local recipes – rwo years ago Yao and I ate KFC – pork I think – and it was far better than anything I ever had at KFC America!

Dinner in a private room with a friend from James’ home town. He’s a compter science grad student – asked well informed questions about American politics.

Most large restaurants in China have private rooms. The room generally has a large round table dominated by a large glass lazy Susan. A waiter or waitress remains in the room the whole time – in this case a pretty young woman who just fonisheed high school and will attend college for financial management. Didn’t think to get pictures. She was proud to show off her English skills.

These rooms are in liueu of entertaining at home – which is seldom doone because hpmes are too small and/or cooking is too demanding.

You can pick up a morsel directly from the seeving dish in front of you and eat it, or put a selection on your plate.