Tag Archives: flowers

Chengdu Spring

23 Apr

 Well, after the longest winter ever*, it is most definitely spring. No longer must I wear five layers and coat, my leggings are firmly relegated back to the bottom of my drawers, and any scarf that I put on is firmly for aesthetic purposes only.

Halle-freaking-lujah.

The local flora and fauna** seems to agree. After months of depressing gray, Chengdu is downright pretty this time of year. Sunny, occasional blue skies, warm temperate weather. This is the sort of weather that encourages people to pack up and move house. Of course, this is a cruel, cruel trick, given what the weather here is like the other eleven months of the year. But frankly, I’m enjoying Chengdu’s decent four weeks of weather while it lasts. And I swear to Odin, I actually smelled night-blooming jasmine the other day. It’s a miracle, I tell you.

Behold: greenery. And flowers! I have never been so happy to see flowers in my life.***

Okay, technically this was part of the razed community garden. But still, flowers!

A flowering tree over by the cafeteria.

I think we have these flowers in NY, actually.

The fenced-in field by the dorms.

A close up of the flowers just outside the dorm gates.

Magnolia flowers, I think?

*Not actually hyperbole; even long-time Chengdu residents were appalled at how long winter lingered on. Like a bad cold.

**Well, I’m not sure about the fauna. I haven’t seen much in the way of wildlife here outside the zoos, just stray cats and dogs, and rats. Oh, and bats.

***Somewhere in Vegas, my grandma is extremely happy for no apparent reason.

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PINK

12 Sep

This one’s for Dad, who asked to see some pretty flowers. For some reason, all the flowers on campus are pink. I’ve got no idea as to why.

 

 

It’s definitely the end of the lotus season here in Chengdu.  I’m just glad I got a bunch of pictures before they’re all gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason, practically every college in China that I’ve been to has imposing front gates.  There’s probably some cultural significance that Prof. Fan meant to let us in on, but since he was a miserable teacher I’ve got no clue.  Anyways, you can see them off to the far left – they’re the red things.  Beida has a set of ’em as well.

 

More to come late on my thrilling purchases and first classes.

Lotus Flowers

7 Sep

Despite my last post, I have found some pretty awesome things here in Chengdu, especially now that we’ve had a solid day of cool, rainy weather and no longer feel like I’m about to die.

My favorite (non-edible) thing so far is the flowers.

We have two lotus flower ponds here at Chuanda (the nickname for my uni) right at the entrance of the north gate. They do make for a startlingly good first impression, especially as you exit off the bustling first ring road. There are always students reading, old people gossiping, young toddlers doing whatever toddlers do, and the few remaining pedicabs in the city loitering nearby for a fare.

I haven’t ridden one yet, even though I see people of all ages doing so. The idea (and power dynamics inherent in the situation) makes me uncomfortable. However, I do see that they provide a valuable service, given that just walking from the gate to the dorms is enough to raise a sweat. (PROTIP: When in Chengdu, do as the locals do. Walk slow, drink lots of tea, go out at dusk and later. This is less of a “relaxed western china lifestyle” and more of “how we managed to not kill off everyone from heat exhaustion”.)

But yeah, pretty pretty lotus flowers. I think they’re kinda neat, as flowers go. They have all this symbolism in Chinese mythology and in Buddhism. I mean, there’s this gorgeous pink flower that grows very tall (like several feet) out of the dirtiest, muddiest pond scum water. If that isn’t a metaphor for Buddhist enlightenment and the human condition, I give up. (Oh, wait…)