Published: November 1st 2010November 1st 2010
I made it! After a 12hr flight, I'm finally in Shanghai!! The flight over was okay, a little cramped, but I was sat next to a nice Belgium man called Dirk and we managed to waste away most of the flight chatting.
I cleared the airport at about 12pm local time (4am in the UK) and was then faced by a bewildering number of signs all of which made absolutely no sense to me. Luckily pictures saved the day and I managed to work out where the taxi rank was and the metro. I didn't want to bottle it on my first day here and just jump in a taxi, so went for the metro option. Luckily I found some nice Chinese people to help me who could speak a little English and managed to work out a route from the airport to my hostel.
Lesson no 1: Everything on the map needs to be multiplied by 10 when trying to work out distance! The metro journey took me about 1hr to get to my first destination. I then had the option of taking a short leg up metro line 3 to where my hostel was or walk it.
It seemed a shame to spend my first day underground so I walked it. BIG mistake. It looked about 10mins on the map. It took me nearly an hour!! I suspect part of this was me being a pussy with my backpack (sorry Bro, not up to your 60kg standards just yet!!)
Anyway I made it in the end and I must say that my first experiences of the Chinese people have been very friendly. I did feel a bit out of place on the metro where I was outnumbered 200-1. I then went in a local shop to buy a coke and the lady behind the till was struggling to understand me. The guy next to me said a few words in Chinese and all was ok. I gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder as a way of thanks and as I left the shop he gave me a little salute and a cheeky smile!
The hostel seems great, helpful staff, free wifi (i'm writing this in the bar!) pool table, laundry facilities and generally very clean. All you could ask for really, especially at £15/night. I have't met my room mates yet, they were out when I got here.
Whilst I haven't been able to take too many pictures, I did grab one snap, which I couldn't resist of an old lady struggling with a bike and cart with an HP printer on the back. The speed she was peddling, the police would have had a week to stop her!**
PS Facebook looks like its blocked here, so I can't see anything you post there for the moment and I'm not sure this will make it onto Facebook just yet.
- I'm in no way implying old ladies represent a risk to the national security!
- Not all bombers use HP printers, other brands are available!
- There's nothing funny about terrorism, but being English we tend to laugh at all the wrong things!