What the heck is this? I don’t know, but I thought it was picture worthy. The trip from the airport was memorable – a taxi with 3 of us in the back seat, two bags in the trunk which would not close and the rest of the luggage stuffed in the front with the driver. The meter didn’t work, we agreed to a flat fee that I haggled down by 50 RMB and off we went – at 85 MPH. In and out of the traffic all the way across Pudong. At the end, he took us to the wrong place, an error we obviously had to correct with a combination of “no” and a lot of hand signals. First impressions of Shanghai – it’s Guaymas multiplied by 100x and with all the signs in Chinese. Even saw some pobrecito palm trees along the road.

Here’s a shot of the baggage claim area – clear, spacious, new.

Once we sorted out the arrival, we got to our rooms. As a measure of electricity conservation, you need your room key to turn on the lights. It stays plugged into the wall, and when you take it, the lights go out. My travel addled-brain had some difficulty with this until a nice maid-person saved me. After the lighting instruction, the three of us went down to the bar to decompress. I saw Tsingtao on tap, so I got excited. Sadly, no Tsingtao on tap, only in bottles. Instead, they have a nice German wheat beer.

Did I mention that everyone here smokes? Everyone, locals, westerners, it’s so bad I went looking for the “smoking encouraged” signs. I’ll be burning my clothes before I come home.