Poetry and Hot Pot

Nicholas Quirke was being looked after on 10 August 2010 and was being handed over by Peng, who was returning to work in Beijing to Wei, his friend from his 2018 Odyssey, who was now living near Chengdu. First though they were going to visit the The Thatched Cottage of Du Fu, a Tang Dynasty Poet. DU Fu was born 712 and as they toured the beautiful Relic Park that had been his home and where he had composed many of his poems, it was hard to believe the sophistication of life in China at that time compared to life in England. The exquisite architecture and taste of the Chinese surpassed in every way the rustic plainness of his homeland. Lunch was at Chengdu’s Tai Koo li, which stylishly adapted a disused temple to a modern mall and Dior’s assimilation of the space was a wonder to behold. After tea and a lunch where they were respectfully advised they had ordered too much, they made their way to the beautiful Wenshu monastery, another Tang Dynasty construction and breathtaking in its style and beauty. Peng had to fly back to Beijing and could not leave without providing him with some deserts and the glutinous rice rolls and mung bean cakes were a delicious reminder of his friend. After a goodbye at the hotel, Wei arrived and having checked him in they went to eat. Chengdu is famous for hot pots, which Nicholas had only tried once and they went to a specialist restaurant which was noisy and chaotic and the process from beginning to end was a revelation, from the massive bowl of chillies and slabs of chilli oil, which cooked in front of them, to making their own sauce from sesame oil, vinegar, radish and spring onion. The tofu, mushrooms and veg were then thrown in and cooked as he watched,. It was extremely spicy and fiery and he hoped he would not regret it in the morning. Wei’s friend worked in a bar nearby and after cooling down with some ice jelly they went for a drink. It was good to catch up and learn more about what had been happening and he was pleased too to meet Ling who was the manager. The drink made him a little giddy and tired and when they reached the hotel he went straight to sleep.

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