It's interesting, as an author, to turn up to China's festivals, and feel the difference in the respective audiences.
It's not just that the Chinese cities and provinces are different (they are - as different as London and Athens, for example) - but also that the foreigners attracted to the various places are different.
Shanghai attracts a high end audience. Well turned out, well educated, rich.
I was told Suzhou would be the wives of factory owners, and there were lots of those there, but I was there over St Patrick's Day, and all I saw was young people everywhere.
Beijing is probably my favourite, because it's full of Sinophiles.
But Chengdu is interesting, as it seems full of Old China Hands, Tibetologists, and Panda People. But what's striking about Chengdu is that Chengdu is a city of spicy food, beautiful girls and poets. And when you go to read there, the audience is going to be 2/3rds local Chinese.
Which is a little worrying when you're talking about Early Medieval English History. But there was no need to fear. A packed house, and a good half an hour afterwards answering extra questions and signing books.
Great to see old faces still there! And thanks for the photographs!