I arrived safely in Shanghai after a nearly 13-hour flight from San Francisco. Since the flight landed after sunset, it’s difficult to give an accurate perspective on what the city has to offer but I have already made the following assumptions. Please allows for me to correct myself later.
The Chinese do not wait in line in fact they are more aggressive than New Yorkers when it comes to pushing their way to the front. I’ve nicknamed them the cutters at this point.
Blonde American is synonymous for sucker as eight very persistent men followed me along the exit rope from the minute I walked out of the International terminal. They prayed on my confusion with the signage and my lack of understanding of the language and frankly I’ll admit it, they got me! I paid $85 USD for a cab instead of $40 USD but I made it to my destination and that’s all that matters.
There is no such thing as non-smoking. A very nice bellhop escorted me to my first non-smoking room, which contained no less than seven ashtrays. I despise smoking so I asked to be moved to a less smokey, non smoking room. After lots of conversing in Chinese, the front desk determined they could move me. The second room was much more tolerable until about midnight local time when I awoke nearly chocking on smoke likely from the tremendous ventilation system.
Lastly, the beds are as hard as a rock, which of course I did not notice under the beautiful display of clean linens and pillows until I plopped myself on the bed and promptly felt my back start to spasm. My Chinese medicine man (much more on him later) warned me that only five star hotels provide suitable accommodations but of course I failed to listen and that’s why I am up at 3:00 am writing.
I am sure we all know the princess and the pea story. At some stage of my restless sleep, I pondered if sleeping on frozen peas might be more bearable. Every time I turned to a new side, my IT band screamed as if I was rolling on a foam roller (That means a pain typically self-afflicted). Being a resourceful person, I gathered up the designer pillows and created a bed on the carpeted floor. I don’t camp but I am pretty sure I engineered a bed worthy of a Jeannie in a Bottle and alas I mustered up a few hours of sleep.
I’m waiting for the sunrise and then I will be making a trip to Starbucks. It’s bright green logo beckoning me from my dimly lit (really like no lights) hotel room. I wanted a room with a few after all. Once she and I have a peace offering latte, I will be ready to take on the sights of the Old City, the Bund and Xintiandi and Yu Gardens for tea. I will report my findings later. Who doesn’t love a city with a river than runs through it and shopping?