Friday, September 22, 2017

Shanghai Diary: Arrival

Though the flight from Detroit to Shanghai was "only" a little over 14-15 hours, it was really over a day due to the time change. We flew to the northeast rather than west as I had expected. Some of my fellow travelers posited that it might have been to give North Korea a wide berth. Going that way, the sun seemed to set a little early and then "rise" again at 11PM as we made our way over Greenland. At one point I looked out the window and it seemed like we were going over the face of another world. With no clouds, we seemed to be very low in the sky (no sense of perspective). The was nothing but white with only shadows from the sunrise to give any depth. It looked like mountains and "rivers" of snow. I tried to capture it with my cellphone but, of course, you can't really see the depth and clarity of the human eye.

The sun rose and set while I was in the plane. It was after 7PM Shanghai time when we finally landed. I had tried to sleep on the trip but only managed to nod off about a half hour from touch-down. Then it was the rush rush rush of everyone pushing their way through the airport as if we weren't going to have to wait about an hour for our luggage, no matter how fast the Customs lines went.

At the mouth of the luggage return there were two ladies who seemed to have one job of turning luggage on its side in order to fit bags on the carousel in a proper way. The carousel would occasionally stop while more bags were being loaded somewhere. When it'd start again they'd work quickly to handle the new demand. Of course, I could only think of Lucy and Ethel working on that candy line. "Let 'er roll!!"

I had a bit of a SNAFU with not seeing the person who was supposed to bring me back to my apartment. I ended up getting swept away by a gypsy taxi driver who ended up charging me much less than the apartment then (double) charged me when I checked in.

I need a little clarification from my office when I get there on Monday. The apartment has me checking out after two months though I'm here for three. That's a bit concerning.

The apartment is pretty nice. I took a video of it:

It took me a while to get the air conditioner working. The lady who brought me my apartment's fresh water supply showed me how to use a remote control to turn the air on and off. With the settings all being in Chinese and Celsius, it'll take a little figuring but I found the all important "colder" and "not so cold" buttons.

Though the mattress being anything but "cushy", I slept like a stone. I think being awake for 28 hours will do that.

Now I'm off to explore the neighborhood a bit and get a new SIM card and data plan for my phone. Once that happens my 734 number won't work until my return.

Currently Reading: The Tenant by Roland Topor.

I have a lot more reading to do:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I hope you're able to get more hangers.

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