Hello from Shanghai, China!
Everything’s going on smoothly, so far. Ann and I arrived at Pudong International Airport at about quarter to 12mn. We got out at past 1am and the only option we had to get to the city is via taxi. We already know that it might be difficult for us since we neither speak nor understand Chinese, and it’s true, it proved to be difficult. Luckily, through the recommendation of a lot of travel forums about China, I had the sense to print out the name, address and telephone number of our hostel and gave it to the driver, who automatically called up the hostel to ask for directions. Thankfully, we got an honest cab driver. It was a long (and expensive) journey from the airport to the hostel, but we reached it safely with only a few minor hitches, so it’s fine.
We’re currently staying at Beehome International Hostel at Dong Chang Road. It’s a nice hostel. For one thing, the rooms are HUGE and clean, with nice amenities such as free wireless internet. Of course, we’re in China, so there are sites that we can’t access. But I can live without Twitter and Facebook as long as my blog and my emails are available.
First order of business? FOOD. I love it that there are restaurants around our vicinity which are open even at the ungodly hour of 2:00am. We were so hungry so we just followed our noses and went inside this restaurant that serves hotpot dishes. They have a sort of English menu, meaning there is an English translation but it’s a bit garbled and they don’t have photos on the menu. The waiter knows limited English, too, so he can’t help much. We just pointed at what we think is chicken, vermicelli and meatballs, and then pointed at ‘moderately hot’ and waited for what they will bring us. It turned out to be a nice hotpot chicken stew (think chopseuy without the veggies), and ‘moderately hot’ isn’t exactly moderate. I don’t want to think what ‘extra hot’ tastes like. But the dish is quite tasty and the servings are good enough for four people and we only paid RMB39. That’s not bad at all.
Mission for later: pig out on xiao long bao. Must find that restaurant that Rain always eats in when he was in Shanghai a couple of weeks ago…