Frow DFW to Shangers and beyond
Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
110Trip End Jul 01, 2017
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Once inside the schools "beater" of a mini van, she announced that I was locked in this pile of shit for the next THREE HOURS! WTF? The trains run about an hour from the huge Shittopolis of Shanghai, but if you go by road it's endless toll booths and horrible architecture with little worth looking at unless the WTF value is in your mind. The pollution level was incredible and pretty much blots out the sun. Shanghai has some nice places but I didn't see them, just endless miles of smoke beltching factories and pollution stained apartments with laundry hanging out to dry in the acrid air. My mind was gone after a 15 hour flight and little sleep the day before, I was in the "maintain your composure even if your want everything to end mode. Finally it did end. As I closed the day in a very clean but cheap hotel room in downtown Xinxua (she-shuh), I was far to excited to sleep and wandered around town alone never seeing anyone familiar but and endless supply of Chinese people, most of whom were staring and pointing at me. I haven't felt this alone since I spent a couple days at "Airport City", near the Incheon airport in Korea. Xinshua is a 15 year old college town built by Hangzhou which wanted one city for all it's universities. Although the town is new and modern, the whole place is colored by the dinge and grime left over from the pollution (not as much pollution as Shangers). Not a single white person in this place which is nice but terribly isolating. Tomorrow, I'm heading to Hangzhou and staying in a hostel where I'll meet people from many countries and be able to converse in English. I sure wish my Chinese was better.
Funny thing happened last night when in my jet-lagged stupor I went into a mobile phone store to buy a simcard for my Blackberry. I noticed some of the workers secretly taking my picture. So I in my gold shirt, looking much like the Buddha as I mentioned, started posing like a wrestler as they took shots of me and laughing, then I started posing like a gangsta rap artist and they really got into that. It was fun. I also caused quite a stir when I demonstrated how to open a beer bottle using my teeth (a skill I've had for years). Many Americans hate being stared and pointed at, and I stick out more than most of them. I decided months ago that since they actually like us and mean no harm; I'll just make the most of it and so far it's been good.
I will return with some pics and a re-write of this entry a little later. After a Chinese breakfast of things I couldn't identify, I feel a great need to have a nap among other things.