We’ve arrived in Shanghai!
We left Raleigh this morning right before 8am, had a brief layover in Chicago until 10:30 ish when we boarded the GIANT (seats 1000 people!) airplane to Shanghai. Thankfully, we have had no problems or complications of any kind so far on our journey. The only thing I can complain about right now is how swollen my feet are and how stiff I am from being on a plane for more than a day.
Once in the Shanghai airport, we got our luggage (nothing was lost!) and an extremely helpful man at the airport got us a taxi to our hotel. Our taxi driver knew almost no English (I only heard him say ‘hello’ and ‘look’) but he was very happy and really enjoyed pointing out the bad drivers and cool looking buildings to us on our way.
At first glance, it really didn’t feel much different than DFW. The massive highway systems, the smog on the horizon, lots of buildings… there was just that added Chinese flair. But after walking around downtown Shanghai, finding some interesting “Kungfu” dinner and Chinese Starbucks, I’m reminded more of New York City, at least in this part of China. (I am impressed, though, at how Chinese Starbucks got my unsweetened iced coffee order correct despite the broken communication when American Starbucks seem to insist I have sweetened coffee…)
Tomorrow we move hotels to begin our weeklong orientation with CIEE before heading out to Baoding. Duncan and I are both excited to meet the other English teachers even though this week is likely the only time we’ll see them. We are both anxious to get to our house in Baoding so we can start feeling like we live somewhere again, rather than living out of our backpacks.
I will post pictures when the internet cooperates. So far, it looks like I’m going to have Facebook throughout the journey and, once I get WiFi, I’ll have Instagram for more pictures.