Shanghai welcomes us to Asia

Trip Start May 02, 2012
1
4
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
We stayed with Daniella and Steve, then with Nacho and Silvia

Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

After a 14-hour flight, we're finally in China. Exhausted but excited about our adventure.Getting off the airplane, we had worries about not clearing immigration without a return ticket, and Angie getting quarantined at customs because of her cold. To make matters worse, Angie had to pee pretty bad and we were both unsure about her squatting skills. Luckily our silly worries were forgotten because everything went smoothly at the airport. They had western toilets and the customs and immigration officials could care less where we were from. Even the metro ride to our first couch surfing host's place went smoothly. I must say that despite the overwhelming Chinese characters, Shanghai has a pretty idiot-proof mass transit system, as long as one understands written English.

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!
谢谢 上海

By Tortuguita
 
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Comments

diana clavijo on

El de diana clavijo es la pa que sepan quien soy ok jajajaja Bueno primos por lo q veo les ah ido Bn se Ve chevere eso por aya espero que la terminen de pasar bonito se les quiere un resto y sigan colocando photos ;)

Ese Soy Yo on

oooooo :-O
esos edificios parecen de una ciudad del futuro
espectaculares las fotos =)
hasta los inigentes parecen del futuro jajaja

Laura Ramos on

Super cool pics! loving that city it lloks super huge and pretty! seems you guys are doing well hop everything keeps going like thta i will try and call as soon as i can..do you have the same nuber you sent the other day???? love you both.

mun2
mun2 on

Gracias por los comentarios! Hasta ahora todo muy bien... conociendo mucha gente y muchos lugares interesantes. Pero se les extrana mucho!

Si todavia tenemos el mismo numero, Laura. :)

ANA MARIA on

Que alegria verlos y mas asi de felices.
LOS QUIERO MUCHOoooo.

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