Lindea (my wife) and I left Kelowna after a morning of trying to ensure the
completion of income tax returns, business accounting and billing and visiting
My mother Bessie, who was awake following a few days in a stroke induced
coma. It is likely that I may never see her again in this world, so I am
happy that we were able to say goodbye and she was aware of where I was going.
The trip to Vancouver was uneventful. We stayed overnight with Bonnie, Dave
I discovered that the suit Lindea and I had spent so much time and consideration
buying had been left at home. I said my goodbyes and we went to the airport
for the flight to Shanghai via Tokyo.
During the flight I mentioned to the flight attendant that I would miss much of my 60th birthday
as we cross the International Date Line and later she came by with Champagne
for me and the other 2 passengers in the adjacent seats. Since I don't drink
alcohol, I gave mine to the girl beside me. Apparently neither of the ladies
beside me drank much either and most of the Champagne got thrown away. The
flight attendant decided to give me something else and later returned with
a cockpit photo signed by herself , the Captain, Co-pilot and Flight Engineer
along with small playing cards and a model airplane (later another attendant
brought another pack of cards and a tiny plane).
I found a wireless hotspot computer at Narita Airport during the wait between
flights and after a few moments of confusion found out enough to use it in
English to send a few emails and order a domain name for a client.
I met Alf on the flight to Shanghai and we got along well so we agreed to share a taxi
city where I would get a room in
the same hotel as he. When we arrived at the Yangtze Hotel we were told there
were no other rooms so Alf invited me to share his for one night.
In the morning we went for an early walk to the riverfront where kites were
flying and had breakfast during our return. I changed travellers cheques
to cash at the hotel (much better rate than in Canada) and paid him for the
room when we got back. He introduced me to his business friends,
Zhu Ming and a lady. When he told them that I was looking for a lower cost hotel.
They phoned and made a reservation for me at the Yuping and then gave me
a ride there where I registered for a week. I find that I like it better
than the Yangtze and it is only about half the cost and includes a nice buffet
breakfast and has a safe in the room which I find convenient for my passport
and extra currency.
448 Zun Yi Road
Tel: 62333448 x 1602
The traffic in Shanghai is quite remarkable. Apparently traffic signals are
only suggestions. Many drivers take whatever opening is available and I was
surprised to see that the
expedient route through intersections was by way of other lanes and across
the flow of traffic. Often a driver will go out into the oncoming lane around
many vehicles to turn right. It happens so much that the police could never
keep up with stopping offenders so I guess they ignore it.
I spent most of the day wandering throughout the area of the hotel. The
international consulate area is nearby and I saw that the Japanese consulate
was roped off and surrounded by the Chinese military, many onlookers and
police. I was told not to take pictures by a soldier (I think it was because
it was the only English he knew).
saw only one occidental for the rest of the day and even when I am the only
one visible, I feel very much at home. I find many people stare at me and
many of the women say "Hello" as I go by but it is a hello unworthy of reply.
Since I left my suit at home I bought a new one along with a nice coat. Alf
said it looked very good and the prices were irresistible. My feet got sore.
I walked to the East China University of Politics and Law. I was permitted
entry to the grounds and spent more than an hour looking the placeover. I
met a very nice young man who was planning to join the army as an officer
following this his final year. I lost the phone number he gave me but would
be interested in hearing from him again. He has my card.
I took the Metro down to the Yangtze Hotel to let Alf know that I could meet
him at 6 PM then walked to the Bund. Went through the Bund Museum on the
water front. The past of Shanghai has had much political oppression and it
has taken a lot of effort and bloodshed to obtain the freedom it now enjoys.
The future looks very bright and there is an exceptional amount of energy
being focused on development.
I took the tourist tunnel across to Pudong and back. I should have gone only
one way so that I could take the Metro back and saved walking back to the
tunnel after exploring the area of the Oriental Pearl
There are incredible numbers of new skyscrapers completed and going up in
I met Alf again for the evening. We went walking to look for a CD case which
we didn't find but we were offered help by 2 beautiful young girls. They
too, were unsuccessful with finding a CD case and also didn't find that it
was rewarding to stay with us so they said goodbye and started chatting with
some younger men as they left. We found a nice restaurant near the Yangtze
Hotel where we tried to order supper. Within a few minutes a lady arrived
to help with the language. We found out that she was the sister of the owner
who called her on a cell phone to come and help (many people have cell phones
here). They both sat with us during the meal and made the evening interesting
with stories for family and business plans for the future. I wish them the
greatest good fortune.
I discovered that my sore foot was due to a large blister on the bottom of
my foot just back of my second toe.