route to Wenjiang I made another bike trip to Wenjiang today. This time I hung out in the city park at a teahouse with a tall glass of jasmine tea. This statue was located nearby. On the way back I, well, fell off my bike. I appled the brakes too hard, the bike stopped suddenly, turned sideways, and sent me to the ground. A skinned knee, elbow pain, headache, burned eyeballs, and sore legs are the legacy of this trip. I looked like a hobbling old man trying to take Xiao Gou Gou for a walk. Now I’m hungry, but I don’t think I can face 4 flights of stairs. Moving day to Sichuan University will be Aug. 25. I’m already half packed….
getting a light I did a heck of a lot of bike riding this weekend. The highlight was a day trip of about 70 km round trip to the Wenjiang district, to the west of Chengdu. The day of cloudy, and after a morning caffeine fix at Starbucks, I hit the road. It was smooth sailing most of the way, as the Chengdu-Wenjiang expressway has ample bicycle lanes on each side. The terrain is also perfectly flat. After passing a set of toll booths, the bike path veered away fromt the highway, but I somehow managed to navigate my way under overpasses to end up on a semi-rural service road parallet to the main road. Driven by some vague indications that the town offered some historic sights, I eventually ended my journey where the road dead-ended at a run-down gas station, then became confused by a major intersection that offered too many possibilities, none of them seeming to go anywhere. Long story short, I didn’t discover the “real” Wenjiang that day, only some suburban outskirts that feature an attraction called “Floraland,” which seems to be an amusement park or public garden. Then, in the middle of a busy street market, I stumbled on a pretty temple, Dacheng Monastery, which I thought would offer a soothing respite from the noise and my physical exhaustion. But no. The temple was a beehive of people, activity, color, candles, incense, and firecrackers. I wandered around, nursing my right knee, tender after the long ride,
old gateway – downtown Chengdu
Washington Square NYC, 1980: Here’s another photo from one of my former lives, digitized from a black-and-white contact sheet.
Moving out – a few remaining people move through the abandoned lanes of the condemned Shuijingfang neighborhood, Chengdu.