Day 2 Shanghai

What a long flight! My back did pretty well on the flight but my neck and knees gave me some trouble.  I did manage to sleep off and on for a couple of hours at a stretch.  I read and listened to my iPod the rest of the time.  I was going to watch some movies but the headphone jack at my seat was broken.  Someone had broken off the end of the jack inside the connector.  The plane was completely full.  It was a pretty chaotic affair.  I sat in the seats in the middle of the plane one seat in from the aisle.  I met one nice gentleman who makes this trip once or twice a year on business so he helped me quite a bit with the ins and outs of the long flight.  We talked often throughout the flight.  The guy on the other side of me, however, was a heftier older man who had little consideration for others.  He butted in when ordering food or drinks regardless of who the stewardess was addressing.  He also somehow managed to take up the armrests for three seats in every direction.  He was nice enough, just completely unaware of himself or his surroundings.

I was very happy to arrive and finally get to stand up again.  Knowing the little Mandarin that I know has already come in very handy.  Once I picked up my luggage I was sort of lost and on my own.  Xie Xie (thank you)  and Dui bu qi (excuse me) have been my most used words so far.  By asking every other employee of the airport, I managed to make it to the bus that takes you to terminal 2, where I needed to check in for my flight with Air China.  I found the right section and checked my luggage and received my boarding pass for Beijing.  I exchanged my USD for Yuan and spent my first 20 RMB on some bottled water.  Since most employees spoke a little English, and with my little Chinese, I felt pretty comfortable getting around.  Even if I was a little nervous at first.

The excitement of my trip had not really set in yet until I stepped off the plane in Shanghai.  Then it rushed over me.  I could not stop smiling and thinking, “Wow I’m really in China!  I’m really on the other side of the world!” I was in a sleep deprived daze of wonder and looking at everything around me almost as if I was in a dream. At that moment I was very thankful of everyone who had encouraged me to take this trip and very proud of myself that I managed to make it happen.

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