Monday, January 10, 2011

First Impressions...

Hello from Shanghai!  For all of you who were wondering, we all made it here safely and without any problems.  The flights themselves were not as bad as I originally expected.  The 14 hour flight from Chicago to Seoul, South Korea had plenty of food and several horrendous movies to help me fall asleep.  I had a window seat for the flight from Seoul to Shanghai and it gave me a great view of some of the islands surrounding the airport when leaving Seoul.

This is the end of my third day in Shanghai, and all I can say is that the city is amazing.  There is so much to see and I know I’ve only scratched the surface.  The first night we were here, a group of us walked around an area that had a huge amount of malls and shopping centers.  The next day (Saturday) led to more exploring as we tried out some local restaurants and looked around some of the shops.  We found some great places that I’m sure we’ll go to frequently throughout our time here.

On Sunday a group of us decided to tackle the subway system here in the city.  After beating the language barrier we were able to get our passes and picked a random stop to get off at because it was close to a river that we never saw.  This section of town was much less western with most of the shops being holes in the wall that didn’t sell designer jeans.  We did find a plethora of places that tailored suits and jackets.  I know that I’ll definitely be going back there for a couple suits in the future!  It was also amazing to see that way that people lived in this area.  I can’t even begin to describe some of it, you’ll just have to go see the pictures here.

Another thing that most people will find strange is that the buildings here do not have heat.  Each room in the hotel and university buildings has its own heater.  In most cases, doors to outside are left open which can leave the hallways very cold.  This has become a much larger problem now that classes have started and we’re sitting in the same room for six hours a day.

Anyway, that’s all I have for now.  You can check out more photos below.  I look forward to hearing everyone!