Agent KC here, reporting from her Pudong International Airport hotel room. I'm really hungry already, what a shame. The flight from Toronto to Shanghai took a long 14 hours, but it was worth it. The aerial view showed that Shanghai and its surrounding areas were very gridded and organized, all structures and land were in perfect geometric shapes. Talk about development. Someone I had contacted via email who works at a law firm in Shanghai and used to work in Houston had told me that Shanghai is humid like Houston, except people use less AC here. Well he is right so far, the airport was so warm, and it smelled faintly of cigarettes. The line to go through customs for foreigners was very long, but they had two sections and many diligent and efficient officers working. I noticed that the foreign travelers were mostly men. I wondered why. They included probably businessmen, other Asian nationals, and I even saw the Kuwait Fencing Team representing themselves.
I had never done currency exchange before, but it went smoothly. Thanks Chase! Next up, shuttle to hotel. On the brief ride, I noticed that Shanghai has many small bodies of water everywhere. Decorative and interesting architecture and planning. There are familiar looking buses and vans. There are many billboards advertising luxuries and cars, just as you would see in any major city. In the airport, I saw a billboard for Accenture consulting, which my friend Abby works for now that she graduated from Rice. What a big company.
I love touching everything and reading everything I can possibly get my hands on, so I got a copy of the Shanghai map and what not, I'm very excited to read through it. Of course, I read everything there is to read in my hotel room, and watched a TV program introducing Shanghai. I'm so excited to visit old city and other old sections of Shanghai. I vaguely remember old Hong Kong TV shows set in Shanghai in all its old glory, and it looked absolutely beautiful, with its various Western influences laced in a rich Chinese city.
One of my favorite childhood Japanese anime shows was just on a chinese channel on TV, and it was fantastic. Growing up in America is sometimes difficult because I cannot explain what certain parts of my childhood was like, and it's hard to revisit it. How am I supposed to find this '70s Japanese cartoon show in CANTONESE? :(
But I digress. I am meeting up with someone from the Xubo agency tomorrow morning, so I will update more later.
PS everything is a little smaller here, true fact. Also because things in Texas are bigger.