Anyway, I obviously figured out a way around that, it's just annoying, because I can't stay signed in, and I can't access friends-only posts at all, even my own.
So, I left off with Chengdu. By the way, there was a little bit that was cut out of the last post because of bit of wrong code, so if you wondered why I was laughing about the green goat, you might want to go back and reread it. :-)
One of the other things I did in Sichuan was to visit a town near to Chengdu to see the tallest statue of Buddha in the world. I was sure that I had seen another statue billed as the "largest", but then I remembered that that one was laying on its side, so the one I saw probably is taller.
Anyway, it's located in a town called Leshan (Happy Mountain, which, you have to admit, is a great name for a town), and through a friend, we got a local guide (Alice), which is always a wonderful thing to have!
Regardless if he's the biggest or not, he's definitely tall--71 meters (about 233 feet)!
These are his toes. If you've met me in person, you know that I'm not short. So, yeah...big statue.
This is the picture that every tourist takes there. Of course, you're not really touching it, you're actually pretty far away from his ear, but it's just a fun, silly thing to do.
Two other unique (in my life) experiences in Leshan: 1) I actually witnessed my first pickpocketing taking place. I didn't know whether to say anything, so I asked my companions. Alice said that we definitely shouldn't, because the thief might have a knife. This seemed logical enough, but when he got off the bus, smirking at us, because he totally knew that we saw him and didn't know what to do, and then the victim spent about five minutes looking for his cell phone, I made the decision that I would definitely speak up if I witnessed another one, knife or no. I felt so, so guilty for not saying anything. 2) On a lighter note: of course I've seen babies relieving themselves on the street here, that's nothing new; it's one of the first things you have to get used to about China. However, this day in Leshan was the first time that I've ever seen a mother ask the bus driver to stop so that her child could urinate, and the bus driver actually stop!!! And wait!!!! Bear in mind that the bus drivers rarely wait for you if you're 3 seconds late to the stop. Yeah, that was strange.
Behind the Buddha (which is on a small island), there was one of the prettiest bridges I have ever seen.
Here is the lovely Alice and Viola (my fellow-tourist in Chengdu), eating Doufu Nao (Tofu Brains), a local delicacy. There are no actual brains in it, it's just supposed to look like brains or something. It was quite tasty, although Alice had the cook leave out the hot peppers in mine and Viola's. Probably a good idea. :-D
After Viola left Chengdu, I went around the city with Linda, a local girl, and she showed me all of the fun tourist places I could handle!
This guy was pretty awesome. He was selling a food product of some sort. I didn't really pay attention, I just loved his costume.
One of the places she took me was a food fair, and we examined (but did not eat) some exotic foods. We did eat some of the less adventurous stuff, including this tasty treat, Indian "Flying" Bread:
The cook seemed a little relieved to find another English speaker in the crowd, and wanted to talk to me for a little while. I know what that can be like, so I chatted a bit.
All too soon, it was time to return to Guangdong. This is a sign on an elevator at the Guangzhou airport. I've had to explain it to my students here, but please notice the second caption underneath the 2F heading.
Don't worry, there's still more to my vacation experiences that will be posted later!