Wow! Already, it’s been almost two weeks since we arrived in Shangai! We would have posted sooner, but China is now blocking wordpress, and we had to wait to get a VPN, an internet service that lets us see blocked sites. Dad finally was able to get it set up, so we can now post. The morning we left seems like ages ago. We got picked up in a limo. That’s right, a limo. We needed a big car, since each of us had two suitcases, but we thought it would be maybe a mini-van. The flight was long, and pretty uneventful. The flight to Detroit was pretty short. The flight to Shangai was not. 15 hours in a plane. There were DVD players on the backs of the seats with lots of movies to choose from. I watched 5. I couldn’t get comfortable, and get to sleep, and it was dark, so I just watched movies. Once we got to the Shangai airport, the adventure really started. The Chinese don’t seem to know the meaning of personal space. They’ll brush up against up, and it won’t be a big deal. And I like my personal space!! We were really jetlag, it was kind of weird, because Shangai is 13 hours ahead, so it was almost like we went from day to night, then to night again. Try to get your mind around that one! It was night when we got the hotel, and we went to bed, but even though we didn’t get much sleep on the plane, we were up at 3 am with jetlag.
The next few days were a bit overwhelming. Shangai is huge. A city of over 20 million people. And you don’t exactly see many blond people running around, so we get a lot of stares. All the time. And we still do. People will ride by on motorcyles, and turn and stare at Jenna and I. Drives me crazy. Kinda makes me want to dye my hair black. Getting around can be intimidating. There’s so many people, and street signs, and very easy to get lost. When you’re going around Shangai, a map is your best friend! We went on the subway last weekend. You know how Indianapolis has been thinking of getting a subway? When we get back, I’m sending a letter saying they do not want one! Not really, but the subway wasn’t fun. People cram and shove, and try to get on at the last minute. If it’s really crowded, you’re shoved up against several other people, who happen to be staring because you have blond hair. You’d think they never saw someone with blond hair before!! But the hardest part? Eating. Jenna and I aren’t really fans of Chinese food, which can be a bit of a problem. Especially with her nut allergy. China has Subway, and Pizzahut, and some places like that, but eating is still hard. It’s easier though, now that we have an apartment, and can cook.
Our apartment is pretty nice. We found it last weekend. Took us awhile to find one we liked, but this one’s just about perfect. Jenna and I have our own rooms, so our parents’ sanity is safe. It’s pretty big for an apartment. We have a great view of a lake. There’s a small balcony; doesn’t have the greatest view, but is still nice go out on. There’s a clubhouse with a bowling alley, café, gym, even a pool. We got moved in yesterday. We also made our first grocery trip yesterday. Wow. It’s kinda hard to find stuff, and we practically cheer when we find something in English. They have imported goods, so we can get some of the chips and stuff we like, which is nice. But the one we went to is huge. It’s on three levels, and to get up and down, you go on an escalator. Sort of. It’s an escalator, but without the steps, so you take carts on it. It’s just one big slope. Seems like every day we go through another culture shock. Going down the escalator is fine. Going up with a heavy cart can be a problem. We haven’t found all the stuff we need, but we’re going to try a Walmart tomorrow. They’ll probably be similar, but since it’s a western chain, we hope they’ll have some western goods.
I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff, but this is post is already really long. We’ll be posting more often, and I’ll probably post again tomorrow with all the stuff I forgot to say. Still getting adjusted, and there have been times when I wanted to just get on a plane and go home. But we’re getting there. Oh, and did I mention we have our own car and driver?