A Park for the People in Chengdu!
When something is titled so auspiciously you get excited to go even before you get there. The name holds promise that it really is a park for the people (hehe) and not just some park with trees that is what, a park for the environment? A park for the…? Who knows. But this was The People’s Park and as I fall in to the category of “people” I was excited to see what the park had for me.
We strolled to the park, bright eyed and full of hope, and walked in to the gates that warned us not to bring in any weapons, guns or explosives. Even at the entrance before the park had even started people were playing badminton and standing around chatting socially.
Throughout the park there were a number of lovely open air tea houses where the people of Chengdu would claim a table, bring their own mountain of snacks, snatch a board game and order large vats of all kinds of tea that the little tea houses would brew for them. Daniel not drinking tea, and me not thinking it wise to drink 4 liters of hot flavored water on my own, didn’t consume any tea but strolled around watching everyone socialising and having a blast.
Apart from tea, the people of this park can also take part in many other activities. Tai Chi was a very popular choice of activity and the cute little old people would gather in their groups and through their little radio would play some music and practice their art.
We also got to witness more cute little old people, pressing “Play” on the good old J.Lo track with the same name that no one in their right mind could resist and did some sexy old people dancing. Twirling, spinning and grinding were all part of the repertoire.
If Tai Chi isn’t your thing, and for some unspeakable reason you don’t like dancing to pop music from my early teens, you could also become a master of Kung Fu, eat wonderful cold noodles that I still don’t know the name for, dance with a small tennis racquet in your hand while balancing a ball in it, just sit and enjoy the beautiful trees and wonderful grass or, if you are of the small and young variety of people you can go to “Kid’s Paradise” which was the equivalent to Melourne’s Lunar Park inside a park made for the people. Even after reading that long sentence and thinking there could possibly be no more activities that the people of this park could participate in, think again. You can buy souvenirs, write poetry and stick it on a wall, sit by the river and listen to the Chinese news, watch little kids as their parents try to force them in to love, search for gold fish in a tiny lake that is full of mould and algae or glance at the giant statues of soldiers near giant rocks while men with swords practice their moves.
All in all, the People’s Park is named correctly. It is indeed a park for people, entertaining every interest and no matter what you are in to there will be something that will entice one of your senses or at least make you smile.