Chengdu is a huge city of over 13 million people making it nearly double the population of London. It was strange for Michael and I, humble folk of the Shire, to have gone through so many mega-cities and it was hard to distinguish between them. Chengdu, though, seemed different. Judging by the advertising boards that are dotted around the outskirts of the city, you’d think that Chengdu was running riot with cartoon panda bears, skipping, dancing, singing and spreading love all around the city.
“Wow, just like Care-a-lot” I accidentally said aloud.
“What the hell is ‘Care-a-lot’?” asked Michael.
“Oh err nothing,” I said, panicking, “just from a film I watched when I was young”
“What’s that then?”
“Errrrm, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe?”
“There’s no ‘Care-a-lot’ in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!”
“Fine. It’s from The Care Bears Movie. Are you happy now?!”
We spent my 27th birthday drinking at the bar in our hostel, Sim’s Cozy Guesthouse, with a Frenchman, Sam, who was working as a personal bodyguard. Sam was a good looking bloke and you could see that he was very happy with himself. He was only a little guy, but he’d been training in martial arts since he was very young. As part of his training he’d spent some years living as a monk and he once, for a holiday, spent three months trekking through Mongolia with a horse.
“It’s weird the kind of conversations you can have when you’re travelling with such a simple creature,” said Sam.
“I can’t possibly imagine,” I replied, smiling at Michael
“Sorry, which one was your favourite Care Bear again?” he retorted, smiling right back at me. “Funshine Bear” I replied, with a sigh, hanging my head in shame.