Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First Impressions can happen twice

The flight to Shanghai was fairly uneventful. Mostly because I had stayed awake the night before and slept for most of it. I stayed up to try and help get over the jet lag early. It seems to have worked. I haven't felt sleepy yet during the day and feel pretty good overall. The title for this post is my challenge to the cliché of not being able to have a second impression. During the flight I was really nervous about what was ahead of me and thought a lot about the life I was leaving behind. After arriving in Shanghai and leaving the final check point of Customs, I finally found my colleagues from work. It was really great to see a familiar face again. 20+ hours of flying, stewards and terminals can feel like an eternity. As we left the warmth of the airport terminal I suddenly felt the chill of Shanghai winter. It was raining a little which just adds to the cold feeling. Even though I had experienced this kind of weather from my previous trip to Shanghai, this time it was different. This time I knew I would live here long enough to experience all four seasons. It is an impression I won't forget.

Ryan and Annie had the key to my apartment and took me there by way of Taxi, my second First impression. It's not so much the taxi itself but driving in Shanghai altogether. The only real way to experience it though, is in a taxi. Taxi drivers here drive like we would want to at home. Signs, lights and lanes are merely just suggestions. Horns are required to let the other guy know 'hey start moving' or just a polite tap to let someone know he is there. If the driver can sneak the nose of the car into a spot then it is yours to take. The taxi ride is a definite must for tourists. Along the way Ryan mentioned that there was a surprise waiting for me at my new home. Two other co-workers (Mo & Yushi) from my previous trip met us there and had setup dinner for me. They had ordered Papa Johns pizza with salad, bread sticks, chicken wings and apples. It was a lot of food, which was great, because I didn't have anything in the fridge yet, so the extra became lunch for the next day. They had also gone to the local Carrefour (similar to Wal-Mart) and purchased a few starter items for the apartment. They bought items like dish soap, laundry detergent, pens, toothpaste and even a pair of house slippers (they were too small for my feet but I really appreciated it). Now at home, eating pizza, I was ready to call it a night and start my first full day in Shanghai. My next post - shopping at the local Carrefour.

1 comment:

John said...

That is cool Jim. I am glad you started a blog, keep it up, it is good for the soul.

Can't wait for the next entry.