On Wednesday I woke up super early for no reason. At like 630. I tried to go back to sleep but I was hungry and that made it hard. I managed to make it to 8 and found a place that delivered breakfast. Even after that, my body was done with sleeping. I managed to waste a couple hours reading and interneting but the whole time all I could think about was getting out. Getting out of my house for sure getting out of the city ideally. At about 1030 I made my decision. I was going to text H to see if she was doing anything/wanted to go camping, if not I would go by myself.
Luckily H told me she was getting ready to head to mountains. A couple text messages later, I was packing my bags. We were picked up from her apartment building by her friend's brother/cousin. After three hours through Sichuan, we reached the Siguniangshan town. It's the last stop before hikers climb the peaks of the four sisters mountain. The town was tiny af and cute af.
The air was clean and the sky was clear. I almost hurt to breath in air that fresh after being in Chengdu. Also, the air was definitely thinner, we were both winded after climbing the stairs to our third-floor hotel room. Our room was tight, two twin beds, both heated (needed because it was COLD up there) and a great view of the surrounding mountains. We couldn't see the Four Sisters but we got a good look at them later. After we got settled, they prepared a vegan dinner for us, which was pretty good, they tried. Not eating meat doesn't make a whole lot of sense in typical Chinese culture, even today, especially if it's not for religious purposes. There is still the mentality that if you can afford meat you eat it. But they were super accommodating and I will not look a gift horse in the mouth.
After dinner, we wanted to explore. We grabbed our instruments, H with her guitar and me with my uke, and went for a walk. We found a bar on the second floor of a nearby building and decided to check it out. We sat down at the table next to the foosball table. Two women asked to join us and as soon as we got settled the power went out. The owners came around with candles. Giving the whole place a tavern in the woods kinda feel. Sans background music, I started to play my uke and soon enough we had an audience. Someone sat down with a baby and asked if I knew any kids songs. I blew them all way with my captivating renditions of "You Are My Sunshine" and "If You're Happy and You Know It". The baby liked it at least.
The two adult people who joined us, Mew and Juno, were are also from Chengdu. They spoke English and we exchanged wechat info, maybe future students. They invited us to play pool with them. We agreed but I'm total shit at pool so we lost pretty hard. Catch me at the fooseball table doe!! After that we wandered back to the hotel and ptfo.
Upon waking up the next day we found out that H's buddy had plans for us. We loaded in the car and headed somewhere. I had no idea where we were going pretty much the whole time. I can tell you it involved a car ride to a ticket booth, a bus ride to f-ing amazing views of the mountains and a lot of little stops along the way.
After that, we were pretty exhausted. I took a nap but H, who was now developing a cold, did not. We had dinner then went out to another part of the city. We walked around a little but it was pretty dead, the night before was the Autumn Festival, I guess now everyone was climbing the mountain or asleep. We went home to warm beds. Also, we got a ...ahem... special delivery before going to bed. Someone was nices enough to lend us some green flowers, along with like really expensive face masks, which was cool and totally unexpected.
The next day we just chilled. Smoked and hung out on the roof top, listened to music and ate snacks. The sun gets pretty hot there in the mountains. We managed to wear just shorts and t-shirts for most of our rooftop times.
That night we went back to that bar, H's friend came with us. We managed to anihilate him and his buddy at foosball. I think they were a little embarrassed ha!
We left the next morning feeling reinvigorated. Like we could take on anything Chengdu could throw at us. It's a hard city to live in. The Du can be a real lonely place, especially if you're a little bit lost. The expat community is great but not everyone is looking out for you. It's almost like there is less accountability here. We fuck with each other kind of but finding a real friend anywhere who will support your emotional growth is rare. I'm happy I found at least one.