Sunday, November 08, 2015

Shanghaid in Shanghai

Yesterday morning I woke up at 7:30 a.m. to sunlight streaming through the window. For the first time in a week, I slept through the entire night. I felt as alive and refreshed as I did when my babies slept through the night for the first time.  After days of waking up too early, dragging myself around all day in a fuzzy fog, sneaking in tiny naps and forcing myself to stay awake until a respectable hour, I was so happy that all that was behind me and I was back on track.

This morning I woke up at 4:15. I tried to go back to sleep, but it didn’t work. So by 9:00 this morning, I felt like I had accomplished a whole day’s worth. The trick is not to let myself nap, although I did have a little nap the day before I slept til 7:30. Dale is on almost the exact same schedule I am; it’s the weirdest thing.

On the way to Vietnam, due to flight connections, we spent a night and day in Shanghai. This was a bonus for Dale and I, and it gave us a little taste of what to expect when we go back in April. The evening we arrived, we went on a 45-minute river cruise to see the skyline at night. Apparently most – if not all – of these skyscrapers and modern buildings were built in the last 25 years. Across the river is the Bund, a European-influenced street, and it was interesting to see the contrast.

Then we checked into our hotel, which is one of the fanciest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. It took us a while to figure out that we needed to put the key card into the slot right inside the door to turn on the electricity. Without the key card in the slot, the lights would go one for a minute and then turn off automatically. We spent a lot of time stumbling around in the dark before we figured it out.

The view from our room

The next day we went to a museum, a shopping district, an old traditional street, and walked along the Bund before having dinner and heading to the airport. We had a great guide who had lots of interesting things to say about everything from the one-child policy to how difficult it is to get a vehicle permit. The guides were probably the best part of the entire trip. Even though I’m sure there are restrictions on what they can say, it still gives you a lot of insight into the country. Despite being a communist country, on the surface it felt very free and open. As a tourist, you had to look closely to see signs that it wasn’t quite as free as it appeared. The most obvious one was that they block some news websites and social media including Facebook and Instagram.


Next up: Vietnam. I promise I won’t do a detailed description of every day, but Shanghai was a stand-alone kind of place. And yeah, I sang the Nazareth song in the post title approximately every five minutes.


Daniel said...

Wow, awesome view from your hotel room!! Is that what you could see from the bath? Weird about the electricity! And good detective work on figuring it out.

Hope you get back to a decent sleep pattern soon!

Anonymous said...

Ha Nazareth. :)

I think you should post more pictures. The view from your hotel room looks like a fake city scape from some movie. Weird.


Anonymous said...

The hotel key card slot is common in Europe, and also in Dominican. We knew that!! Sweet hotel room and view. Jim