Then I popped over the Wenshu Monastery for lunch at its famous vegetarian restaurant.
Had what was the hottest meal I have ever had in my life. It was a kind of soup which seemed to consist entirely of chili peppers. Sichuan food is famously hot but this was way over the top. The way the waiter stood in the corner and keep smirking at me I had to wonder whether he and the cook weren’t playing some kind of practical joke me.
Then to the Sichuan Opera for the afternoon. This was held in a low key little theatre holding only two or three hundred on a side street near the train station. For the matinee the theatre was only about half full, almost all retirees whiling awhile an afternoon. All the tea you could drink, served by a woman who came around with a big thermos, was included in the price of the ticket. The oldsters sat around chatting, drinking tea, and eating sunflower seeds, only bothering to watch the opera for the highlights. The opera went on for over three hours, the exact plot being impossible to follow. I just sat back and let the whole thing flow over me. I noticed a lot of people going backstage so I thought I would try too. No one said anything to me. In fact, the actors seems to expect people to come back and take photos . . . Actresses in the opera: