Friday, April 28, 2006

Shanghaied

After three weeks of travel around this very large country, going all over the map, I am in Shanghai, on my own as of this morning, and I plan to stay here for a few days to chill out, write, and maybe wander around the French Concession.

Coming into the city at night from the airport, Shanghai looked like any big city. Tall, brightly illuminated buildings, etc. But as we approached our hostel, and saw Chinese characters on signs, and laundry hanging outside windows, we knew we were in China again.

I am in a hostel that is conveniently located about 5 minutes walking distance from the Bund. And the place is friendly enough and safe. But, outside the window of my room is a whole lot of racket. By 8 am every morning, people yelling, many cars honking, and construction banging makes it difficult to sleep in. Even on a Saturday morning, the noise is only slightly turned down. And there are renovations going on in the hostel as well.

The first day here, we walked down to the Bund and around the International Settlement, where many of the buildings are very European-looking. There is also a Bund museum with nifty old pictures of all the old bank buildings and foreign embassies--some from before 1900.

So, since I am stuck here for a few days and I have some time to kill, my plan, as previously blogged, is to write some more entries about what I've experienced so far.

Topics to include: traffic; "tourist attractions"; accommodations; modes of transportation; how we inadvertantly joined a tour (sort of); being a vegetarian; how i have learned to jaywalk, get over my modesty, and be a quiet american; and joining the revolution (pedal revolution, that is).

So, stay tuned...

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