Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shanghai...The First 48 (Part 1)

Hello All!  As you can see, I officially made it Shanghai!  So much has occurred over the past few days so I’ve decided to break this up into two separate posts.  So, without further ado, here goes a quick review of my first two days in Shanghai (with pictures!)…

Departure Day (Wednesday, September 5):

As I previously predicted, I was up until the wee hours of the morning packing. I was up so late in fact, that I only got two hours of sleep. My cell phone alarm went off around 4:15 a.m. E.S.T. and I quickly put on my clothes, brushed my teeth, and then moved my very heavy suitcases to the car.  I arrived at the airport just in time for check in and to my dismay; my bags were a bit too heavy.  I managed to plead with the person working the check in desk to let me through since I was going to China (for God knows how long) and that I needed everything.  She was kind enough to let me through and sternly told me that next time, I needed to be 50 pounds and under (my bags were 54 and 52 pounds).  I then hugged my mother goodbye with lots of tears and then I quickly passed through security for flight 1 of 3 in 24 hours (my flight schedule was: Hometown-> LaGuardia-> Detroit-> Shanghai).

My connection flights went by quickly and smoothly since I pretty much caught up on much needed sleep. Once I arrived in Detroit, I called several friends and my mother to bid them adieu, as well as, I sent out one last text message saying goodbye.  

My Plane to China

My flight to Shanghai was pretty standard and uneventful.  The flight was almost filled to capacity and as I wrote in an earlier post my only option was middle seat (boooo!).  Once I arrived at my seat, all the overhead bins had been quickly scooped up, so I had to run around the plane to find an empty one.  I ended up shoving my huge backpack in business class (which was nearly empty) and once I returned to my seat, a kind gentlemen ended up switching seats with me and gave me his aisle seat (yeah!!!)  I settled into my seat and started playing with the inflight entertainment which was pretty decent for a domestic airline.  My 15 hour flight consisted of watching movies, sleeping, eating, watching TV shows, sleeping, and eating.  The food was edible and the staff was pleasant (I even managed to try out my Mandarin to the delight of a flight attendant).  After what seemed like an eternity, I finally heard the message that the plane was “making its descendant into Shanghai, so put up your tray tables and seats and prepare for landing.” It was officially time…

Shanghai: Thursday, September 6

The plane touched down into Shanghai PuDong airport on 9/6 at 7:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. E.S.T.).  I gathered all my belongings and made my way off the aircraft.  I was pleased with the airport upon entering and making my way to customs, it was very modern (it was built several years ago) and since everything was in Chinese characters and English, it was easy to navigate.  I cleared customs rather quickly and upon exiting, I was greeted by a hotel representative holding up a sign with my name on it.  We greeted each other and he led me to a bench since he had to wait for two other arrivals. I met one of my new coworkers who I had previously been in contact with via the internet.  We were happy to finally meet each other in person and we eagerly exchanged stories of our preparation, packing, and flight to China.  

Pudong International Airport

A bit of the Shanghai Skyline
Since the other two arrivals were delayed, our hotel representative led us to our transportation that would be taking us to our hotel (Sidenote: My employer would be putting me into a hotel for two full weeks at their expense.  During my two week stay, it was up to me to find my own housing).  I looked out with amazement at the incredible views of the airport and all the different areas of the city.  I managed to find my camera and I enthusiastically snapped away. 

The Shanghai Exhibition Center

After 45 minutes, we arrived at the hotel and after filling out some paperwork; I received my room key along with a welcome back from My Employer filled with some much needed goodies (cell phone with SIM card, adapter, map, and notebook). 
My Digs for 2 weeks

Bag of Goodies!
 By the time I made it to my room, I was completely drained and starving.   I managed to locate the hotel’s restaurant and I ordered what I thought was going to be a small bowl of soup.  I was shocked when the waitress brought me an enormous bowl of soup that could have easily fed four people.  I managed to stuff myself with four smaller bowls as I watched the Asian version of the t.v. show “The Voice” (which was named “The Asian Voice”).  After my late night meal (it was after 11p.m. at this point) I dragged myself to my room, brushed my teeth and set my alarm in preparation for my first day of work…

Thanks again for reading and stay tuned for how I handle my first full day in Shanghai!!

1 comment:

  1. :) Shellyann I am so excited for you! Hey I know you just got there lol, but is there any way you can mail me (before the end of October) something from Shanghi for my Anthropology class? something interesting, yet FLAT that I can put in a scrapbook as my final project - so IDK a beer coaster, um.... something small and flat, lol anything you can think of that is interesting and reflective I would totally appreciate it !!! Our professor is making us keep a sketch book as our "trip around the world" and we have to do research on several different worldly places, their people, and things... so, if you can think of something let me know! And of course get settled in so no rush . I want to say I am seriously thinking of maybe if possible coming to visit you.... I know it sounds crazy! but maybe after I get my financial aid check, and after you are settled in and maybe get your own place I can come fly out there for a few days ??!!! When else will I ever get the chance to visit CHINA and what better time then to do it to visit a friend <3 It all depends how much it will cost, so we will keep it open ended for now, but just an idea