And Then There Were the Pandas :-)
During my brief time in Chengdu it was pretty much long work days and no down time really. On the very last day, though, I managed to slip out with my delightful colleague Sarah for a visit to the famous Panda Research & Breeding facility on the outskirts of Chengdu city. There’s a larger, more forested and wild place a good deal farther outside the city, but that one was out of the question. This one was possible, only taking up a couple hours on my last morning there. I’m not at all sure this layout will work: further down there’s a sequence of shots of some young pandas playing, which I tried to lay out in sort of a filmstrip fashion from top left to bottom right…if they overlap on your browser, try launching another one: I find that strangely enough explorer often interacts better with blogspot than firefox, much as I usually prefer firefox…
By explanation: adult pandas do what many of us have seen the adult pandas do in zoos in our home countries: lie around snoozing, or if you’re early in the morning (as we were) chomping on bamboo. (Yum! I’d like mine with the spicy salsa, please!) The young pandas are another matter altogether: they’re like the young of many other mammals, overloaded with energy and playfulness, and they were a total treat to watch endlessly playing with each other like a litter of puppies.
Anyway, it was nice to be able to enjoy Chengdu even a little bit. Otherwise it seems a very nice city and I was happy with how at home I felt there, and how well my spoken Chinese came back after nearly two years away from China; the city itself was very little affected by the earthquake or the aftershocks, though of course everyone felt them all and was quite jittery, understandably.