Before the glow fades let me effuse on the delightful evening I had with
Zhi Ting and Li Ying who treated me to a wonderful supper of Shanghainese
home style food at a very nice restaurant a short walk from the Oriental
Pearl Tower. Little did I know how simply pleasant the hospitality could
be for me this day. My gratitude is inexpressable and must be shared with
Shifeng for arranging this meeting with his sister. It was more than two
hours of very interesting conversation and helpful advice on my future activities
in this exceptionally challenging city and her glowing face as she left the
Metro to catch her bus home will be a fond memory.
Now to try to recall the activities of the day which seems so long that it
will be impossible to recount all the details.
After breakfast I left the hotel for a moment and then returned for my overcoat.
There was a chill in the air and I thought that by evening it would be more
comfortable to have the coat. However time would prove that such was not
the case. I needed cash as I was down to my last 15¥ and that would
not take me through the day without difficulty.
Also I wanted to ensure that I would have accommodation here as the Shanghai
Mart where the Trade Show of 13-15 April is nearby. When I went to the desk
to make my reservation I was told that there was no room available at that
time. It reminded me of my trips to Las Vegas during COMDEX. I asked if they
knew of another hotel where I could stay and the arranged a reservation where
the price was 140% of the price I'm now paying so I agreed to it to ensure
that I would have somewhere to stay. I then went to the Bank of China to
get cash for some travellers checks but found that I had to have my passport
which was back in the safe in my room. I guess I should carry it with me
from now on even though it is likely only to be needed at banks and hotels.
When I returned to the hotel I decided that the overcoat was too heavy for
carrying around all day so I went back out with only may suit to keep me
warm. It was the right choice this time. I walked down towards the consulate
area in hopes of finding another hotel but to no avail.
I went back to the bank with my passport and cashed a travellers cheque.
It was quite a process including much paperwork with 2 people and copy of
my passport. But the exchange rate was the best yet even with the $0.75 charge
that was taken.
I then decided to head for Pudong in hopes that the hotel I found on the
Internet may have space for me. I found it and it did. In fact the price
was lower than I expected so I reserved a room for 3 weeks from 2 - 23 April.
It is a long way from the Shanghai Mart but within walking distance of the
Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Taking the Metro to the Hongqiao
economic and technological developing zone isn't too onerous nor costly.
In fact much less at 40% of the cost of staying nearby even with the 6¥
for the metro included. I may splurge and add another 2 for the Metro #3
to get a little closer to the Shanghai Mart :-)>
I returned to the Yuping Hotel and read my email. The message from Shifeng
persuaded me to call his sister. That lead to another trip to Pudong and
our meeting as mentioned above. I now await a call from my most dearly loved
wife as I write this.
The call came later than expected, as the number I provided was not complete
for dialing in from Canada. Lindea did manage to find the correct number
(with Chris's help) and we talked for a long time. Much of the conversation
regarded the possibility of living here in China, and the things we could
do to be productive and financially successful.
30 March (6:17 AM)
I am drawn into wakefulness with my mind sorting through images of the past
few days that have been omitted, both intentionally and by the limitations
of expressability, from my journal; so I shall now relate a few.
Many were the comments exchanged between Alf and myself regarding the stylishly
attractive cab driver that we rode with to the Yangtze hotel from the airport.
And what about the two female art students who persuaded me to peruse the
paintings of the class from Beijing. Would it be gullibility on my part to
believe that the time she spent illuminating their work was only for my
elucidation or was she hopeful that I would be a profitable market for another
capitalist project. I can honestly say that it doesn't matter. Her sweet
demeanor was a pleasure to behold and there is no way I could burden myself
with anything she had to offer. Then there was the momentary encounter with
the hopeful young man in the park who asked me if I were gay. He quickly
departed in disappointment and apology.
I intentionally make little or no mention of the many business opportunities
the I find along the way. After all, what value would they have if I gave
them away or provided the means for anyone reading this to pick them up without
the work of discovery.
There is so much left unsaid, but time is pressing and I go now to explore