Craft, street food and grocery confusion

I made it to Chengdu! Another relatively uneventful train trip and also a fairly easy-to-find hotel, which was nice. As soon as I got there I noticed they had a craft thing going on in the evening, I always sign up for any free things that the accomodations run so naturally I put my hand up.

Close-up of craft work
Check out those craft skills… Wasn’t at the top of my high school sewing class for nothing!

The hotel staff and onlookers had a big laugh when I signed up. I was in a class of 9 girls and one who spoke a bit of English explained that typically only women do sewing/craft stuff. Clearly China is a little more behind when it comes to gender roles etc. That being said, being in a class of entirely cute Chinese girls isn’t the worst thing that could happen really is it? Everyone was great and I had a fun time although I think the poor teacher barely coped. I was pretty hellbent on finishing quickly and efficiently (just how I do things) which resulted in her constantly telling me “slow, slow”, much to the amusement of everyone else in the class most of whom were spending more time watching me than actually making the decorations. This rather irritated some onlookers who’d laughed at me at the beginning, which I thought was quite amusing.

Bowl of noodle dinner
A $2 Aud dinner, lots of chilli but just bearable.

I then went out to find food. Chengdu food is notoriously spicy but I was determined to brave it and intentionally never learnt how to say ‘not spicy’ in mandarin. I had a rather spicy fried noodles dish. Cheap and cooked right in front of you, which I like.

Finally I dropped by a grocery store to get a big bottle of water. I like to get 5 litre bottles everywhere I go because it saves a little money. I was surprised at how expensive water was. It’s typically around $2 Aud for a 5 litre bottle and it was around $7. I couldn’t be bothered walking to another place as it was late and I was tired, so I was about to grab a bottle when I realised that it was vodka (alcohol is sold in standard markets in China, unlike Australia). Certainly could get very drunk for very cheap in Chengdu!!

Crowded shelf of bottles of alcohol
Cheap grog section, not quite what I was after…