[Previous Page]
[Picture Album]

29 March

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 another day.

[Next Page]