Shanghai welcomes us to Asia
Trip Start May 02, 2012
33Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
We stayed with Daniella and Steve, then with Nacho and Silvia
I think out first shock came from the amount of people in the city. We though we were prepared for the constant feeling of exiting a football stadium after a big match, but this was quite different. As Daniella put it, everyone is anonymous, there are just too many people in this country! So while tortuguita is puzzled trying to figure out how to say 'excuse me' on the first metro ride while getting elbowed and pushed around, speedy gonzalez points out that no one says 'excuse me' here. Daniella later confirmed that pretty much no one says it.
We spent several days wandering around Paris of the east. We tried many strange foods, some very spicy, very few have been simply unpleasant to us like the vinegar soup we had for brunch one day (it looked good in the picture). Mostly, the food has been delicious, like the western Chinese style lamb or the 20-cent (USD) dumplings for breakfast. I think the most important thing for us now is that it isn't too spicy so we learned how to say 'no want spice' in Mandarin, other than that, we'll try anything. Oh yeah, and to avoid heavy metals, drink only bottled water.
Couchsurfing has been a blessing for us so far, especially in Shanghai (couchsurfing.org). Daniella and Steve helped us with that important transition in the first few days. They are a couple from Wisconsin that seem to have adapted pretty well to this city and country except for the lack of good cheese =). Nacho and Silvia were also great! Thanks to them my beer belly has grown a bit, but we met some very neat people like 'Kris' the Dane, Maria and San Marcos, the Argentines
and others. It was very interesting to see 'pinche' Shanghai through the eyes of these lovely people, as Silvia would say.
I guess we picked a good city to start our Asian adventure. Shanghai has an interesting story, a bit of the west thrown in there. We got to see a couple of museums, some old streets and very cool modern buildings. After about a week and a half, we took a break from Shanghai to visit the lovely gardens of Suzhou, more about that later. For now I must say that I miss my family, especially Leila and Valerie, but we really like it here and the connections we've made have been great ones.
Thank you Shanghai!