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First Impression of Chengdu from A Foreigner

my first impressions of Chengdu have been absolutely positive due to this city¡¯s three outstanding qualities: the exceptional food, the pleasant easygoing people, and the cultural variety that comes no doubt from its location in China. Despite the difficulties of language and culture faced by all foreigners who cannot speak Chinese and who are unfamiliar with local customs, this is a welcoming place, fascinating to experience and charming to live within. The expatriate community is small, but extremely close nit, and it will not take long to find people to help you, get advice from, or with whom to share common interests. As a final tip on interesting spots to visit, try the Jinli pedestrian street, which is an authentic looking mock up of a traditional Sichuan market. While there I talked with Zhang, a Chengdu local who has been practicing his families¡¯ business for thirty years. Zhang has a blown candy display where he fashions animals out of substance made from corn. As he proudly made me a tiger ¨C my sign in the Chinese calendar ¨C he told me that he had been sent to Switzerland by the Chinese government to showcase this traditional art form, which dates back 1,300 years. All this and more awaits discovery in Chengdu, and I look forward to a long and productive time here.

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