We woke up Saturday morning to overcast skies, raindrops on the balcony, and a house so empty we hear the echoes of every footfall.
It’s a fitting last weekend here, a little gloomy, a little cold, a little typical Chengdu.
Saturday we skipped an Easter egg hunt and potluck on account of Chris having the flu. Instead we laid low and watched Will scamper around the empty house, chasing toy cars and enjoying the wide open space.
For dinner, we took a short stroll over to Yang Yang’s. It’s a neighborhood joint, but one of the best in town, beloved by both locals and foreigners alike. A New York Times writer came and ate at Yang Yang’s a few years ago, though I think he may have been trying to pad his reimbursements a little when it came to the bill. We’ve never paid more than about eight dollars a person no matter how many heaping plates of food we order.
Yang Yang’s is amazing, if not sometimes a bit inconsistent, pretty typical for a Chengdu restaurant. On this night though, the kitchen gave a command performance; as if trying to send us off with the perfect farewell dinner (little do they know, we plan on at least a few more take-out orders before we leave).
We only ordered a few dishes, but they were about as perfects we’ve ever had: yue-xiang zhezi (eggplant), feng wei (a local green stir-fried in garlic and too much oil), Riben doufu (literally Japanese tofu, deep fried doufu in a yue-xiang sauce) and a plate of deep-fried peanuts.
The waitresses we’ve known for two years now graciously supplied us with extra chopsticks as Will attempted to drool on as many pairs as possible before flinging them unceremoniously on the floor. Each time he’d look up and give the waitresses a flirtatious smile until they’d bring another pair. We are in for a rude awakening the first time we eat out again in America, I think.
We have three and a half days left in Chengdu.
photos of Will and I by Chris