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A lovely post... love your balance of nostalgia without judgement, even though it must be sad as a visitor to feel the loss of what you loved so much.


great post! and lovely pictures as always.


The milky pasta water!! Brings it right back.

I can't imagine how jarring it must feel to see the "new" Chengdu. I've only been gone from China a little over a year, and my friend already reports to me that the street we lived on has changed dramatically...thanks to the evil 拆


this post is beautiful. it reminds me of the nostalgia i had when i visited the province i grew up in after 9 years in the city.i wish i took pictures

Karen from Globetrotter Diaries

Beautiful photos. I feel like everytime I go back to Shanghai, and China generally, so much changes so quickly. It's transforming at an incredible rate...


Great post and photographs.

At home I usually drink some pasta water after I ate the noodles. My dad said that it helps digestion. 原湯化原食, were his exact words.


Great post. I lived in Sichuan University for 2 years, and I missed the spot.

I love the nostalgia b/c I'm from a city with speeding up "拆“. I miss the old city block where I grew up and I miss the serenity in the late 80's. But I feel for the residents who live in the old houses. On one hand it's always amazing to find something old in China, but to say "not having the easiest life" would be a huge understatement. My grandma lived in a similar old house (not in Chengdu, but in Qingdao. In a house built by German over 100 years ago.) Even though the house was structurally sound, and she did have plumbing and TV, she used to say "whoever could have moved, moved."

@ Albert
My Mom says the exact same words! Where is your Dad from? I think only Shandong people say that.


I wouldn't think it's only from Shandong - but in general-Northern regions where wheat/flour is the staple food (noodles, Shuijiao). It's to do with the water-soluble Vitamin B in the flour.

@Albert - Taiwanese version (sweet potato)Fenzhen rou/地瓜粉蒸肉 used frozen cooked white rice/or small portion of cooked glutinous rice of personal preference. Cooking time reduced significantly and not so powdery as the commercial pack. Crush the cooked rice in a plastic bag.


Love the photos, they really do tell a story.


Great photos.


Great photos. I lived in Beijing in 1988-89, and went back to visit in '99 and 2000. Even in those 10+ years, the city had changed beyond recognition. I can't imagine what a lapse of 25 years would feel like (though if I wait a few more years, I suppose I can go and find out).

Greetings from East Africa - where the food is not as interesting as when I lived in China (or more recently, Phnom Penh).

Leo Sigh

I do think it's sad China is destroying much of its history. I think many Chinese will live to regret it, just like many Americans have after they went through their own 'drive to modernization'.

Gorgeous, gorgeous photos, btw.


Wonderful photos! The noodles is so mouth-watering.

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