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Rhythmical pulse of an old town

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At noon we leave the hostel and search one of many small restaurants. This region is famous for its spicy and hot dishes. Tanja and I walk by a canal in which a dreadfully stinking broth flows. On the left and on the right are residential buildings, in other parts of the town this kind of houses have been victims to the construction development. The windows of six or 10-storied houses are protected with massive, rusted grids. Barbed wire or outwardly arched iron spikes should keep obviously thieves from robbing the inhabitants. Looks anyhow strangely“, I am surprised at the massive archaic safety precautions. „You mean really here it is so much burglary?”, asks Tanja. „I think that is not done for fun. We are in a city and in every million metropolis of the world there is also a part of the population living of taking something of the others“, I say.

The inhabitants of this residential district sit in small front courts open to the walkway, drinking tea and seem to enjoy the day. Everywhere laundry hangs in the trees. The interesting residential district is a domicile of the cats. They stray everywhere around, sit on walls and ledges and play in backyards. Over and over again we see dog owners their often small four-legged friends are dressed in amusing pullovers or suits. They are undoubtedly the darlings of the family and not seldom also a status symbol for her owners.

The life here, away from the noise of the traffic, conveys the impression of rest and leisureliness. From some of the windows there sounds the clattering of the Mah Jonng stones. Two red lampions hang before a traditional chemist's shop from there an exotic smell of herbs and mixtures floats. On the loading area of an old trishaw the owner offers for sale coloured flowers and cacti.

We reach a place many inhabitants are sitting together, drinking tea like in the inner courtyards. The town is known for the relaxed teahouses. These are places in which a plentiful choice is offered of green tea, jasmine tea and eight-valuables tea. The visitors talk, smoke, play Mah-Jonng or cards.

All this is happening near to the small stinking canal and the restricted river Min Jiang whose water is just contaminated like that of the canal. At some places it properly ferments what one can recognise by the bubbles on the water surface, as with a cooking soup. Shocked we see like locals bring their fishing rod out into the toxic broth and desperately poor women wash their clothes in it. On both bank sides of the river a wonderful park is put on in which the Chinese Thai Chi exercise, groups of women dance to the music, people any age practice sport and cages of songbirds hang in the trees. The owners of the birds sit in small groups together, smoke and talk.

Unexpectedly one of the narrow lanes leads us to a market. Coloured booths standing closely to each other and squeeze on the left and to the right of the dark lane to the house walls. Wide parasols partly tattered protect the manifold products, why the by smoke clouded sky only as a grey light stripe is to be seen. One by cardboard heavy loaded rickshaw squeezes by the scrum. People and dogs jump aside. Before a building dangle the usual lanterns. Garish-red, black and yellow Chinese characters shine and flash to us from all directions. The dirt on the street is frightening and hard to define its composition. Straying dogs dig in the garbage. Their fur is eaten away by the mange. Other dogs sit again full and well fed besides their masters. Under my feet it crunches. Startled I look at a putrid chicken head. The traders shout and seem to roar at their customers. In China it is common to her people quite loud talking to each other. In the beginning we thought, these people would argue continually, however, meanwhile we have got used to their extremely loud conversations. Here the activity is only difficult with words to describe: Scent of flowers, pork is hanging on coarse hook, plucked chickens lie on tables, fat living toads move sluggishly in bowls, tortoise alive sitting in their excrement waiting for their end in a cooking pot. Being astonished, from a world with most different colours and noises we walk around. Here bubbles and lives China, a country between modern times and past. If we would not know that we are in the 21st century, it could feel like a jump in a ventured dynasty. As if we had landed in a time machine in the middle of old China. The people are shy, look at us curiously, shout, laugh, indicate and are glad if they have caught our attention.

Back on the main street the noise of a city rules suddenly again. Here line up stores, shops, restaurants and snack bars. Hairdressers offer their service, there seem to be endlessly luxurious boutiques and the displayed goods in quite a lot of antique shop and souvenir stores are sinful expensive. Already 2,000 years ago Chengdu was a cultural and economic centre and famously for iron foundries, the retrieval of salt, lacquered works and before all the production of brocade materials.

Because of many mountains around this town, in history it was in an isolated situation and over and over again a fought town. Because of the isolated situation it was the residence of independently empires of Sichuan.

With our walk through the metropolis, particular through the small lanes we are able to catch a small breeze of the history. In the dark corners, the rest of the old walls, the ground on already before thousands years ago people worked, have lived, have loved and have fought on which they born and have died, we feel a deep rhythmical beat of a pulse of an ancient town…

The live reporting is supported by the firms Gesat GmbH: www.gesat.com and roda computer Ltd http://roda-computer.com/ The satellite phone Explorer 300 from Gesat and the rugged notebook Pegasus RP9 from Roda are the supporting columns of the transmission.

Date:
28.02.2016 to 29.02.2016

Day: 244 - 245

Country:
China

Province:
Sichuan

Town:
Chengdu

Latitude N:
30°40’51.0’’

Longitude E:
104°03’23.2’’

Total kilometer:
12.819 km

Maximum height:
500 m

Complete height meter since tour start:
25.392 m

Sunrise:
07:33 a.m. – 07:31 a.m.

Sunset:
07:00 p.m.

Temperature day max:
19 °C

Temperature day min:
12 °C

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