Back in Shanghai!

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

After one early morning and short flight to Chicago, then another 13 hour flight past the North Pole, J. and I are back in Shanghai. The flight chased daylight, and due to the meal schedule there was only a short window for sleeping. Even though I was sleep deprived from the night before, I still wasn’t able to sleep on the plane. The best I could muster was a kind of waking paralysis I call “Zombie Mode.” Most of the scenery was vast fields of cracked ice.

Our plane arrived on Saturday afternoon. A friendly driver was waiting at the gate. He took us to our new home: a massive serviced apartment tower in the Luwan neighborhood near Lupu Bridge. In December, J. and I had walked by the very buildings and noted it. Our tower is one of many in a massive block of identical towers. It’s a mass of housing the likes of which I’ve never seen before (except last December).

Our apartment is small and hotel like, but nice. There’s a bedroom, living area with flat panel TV, kitchen with cooking utensils, bathroom with washing machine/dryer. Our balcony and bedroom window look out over a garden courtyard and into a sister building. We are on a higher floor of 36 floors. The tower has 6 elevators. This tower is part of 24 or so other towers of a similar architectural theme.

Carpet.

Bedroom, living area, kitchen, hall.

Bathroom sink and shower.

Washing machine.

Our first batch of groceries.

View out the balcony.

Another view.

Looking down at the courtyard.

Courtyard construction?

Some older buildings nearby.

A major street, quiet in the morning.

Despite being zonked, we were without delay in walking to the supermarket to buy groceries. The place was built under a stadium and bustling. It took us some time to figure out where everything was. Luckily, the store had a good selection of a produce with set prices. Not having to bargain for apples is going to make things easier. We took our goods home and cooked up a dinner of stir fried vegetables and fried dumplings. We washed it all down with strawberry yogurt and jasmine tea. Lady and the tramp went to bed at 7PM. We woke at 1AM. After trying to sleep in some more, we decided to get up at 4.

As soon as it was light outside, we headed down to McDonalds and got two coffees to go. Then we timed how long it would take for me to walk to work: 50 minutes. Next, we tested how long it would take to get back on the subway: 50 minutes. No time savings and just about half the walking distance for 4RMB(60¢). Either I’m going to be doing a lot of walking or hailing cabs.

Pineapples and lady.

Alley.

Tree-lined street.

Cool door.

Conch.

Patriotic color scheme.

Construction trash.

Chipping paint.

Camo tree.

Old sign.

Under renovation.

Facade.

Fuxing Park.

Green mailboxes.

The locked gate.

My last two days of freedom have been surreal. One day I board a plane and am in China, in an apartment, readying for a new job. A big pinch is in order.

See J.’s thoughts on the last two days here.

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