Well, today is officially our second day in Shanghai. So far I've had majestic views of the insides of the airport and of our hotel.

We arrived yesterday afternoon and hailed a cab to go down to the central city. We got into the hotel around 16:00 yesterday and then just lazily laid around the hotel. I took a long nap and then we walked around the hotel for a bit.

And then this morning we woke up early and ate downstairs at the breakfast buffet.

I was too exhausted to get out and Jin thought it was too muggy to get out. We'll actually get out and explore the city today though. My parents also are probably somewhere in the sky now on their way to Shanghai as well.

Things I've noticed so far...

  • Shanghai for one thing is much less crowded than I had assumed. I had these impressions of China being overflowing with people and so far it doesn't seem that way. It still seems like a busy city, but nowhere near as crowded as I had assumed.
  • Shanghai is much cleaner than I had expected. My Chinese friends constantly tell me how dirty China is and how people have no regard for taking care of their surroundings. That being said, so far everywhere I've seen (albeit it's been from my taxi cab or from the 29th floor of our hotel) has been immaculate. It actually feels a lot like Tokyo with it's high-tech, crowded city centers that are also clean.
  • Chinese people are far politer than my friends had led me to believe too. I hear about the necessity to push people around and how Chinese people are generally rude. So far that hasn't been the case, but I guess I'll see more as I get out into town.

I think the thing though with stereotypes is that there might be some truth to it, but in the end there is always variation in each country. I'm excited to continue this trip and get to really know China with Jin and the rest of her family. It'll also be interesting to compare the larger cities of Shanghai and Beijing with Nanjing since we'll be going there to visit some of Jin's family. The things I'm missing most though are the ability to access email (Gmail is blocked), the ability to access social media, and the ability to Google things. It's been pretty frustrating trying to readjust my usual habits of Googling unknown information. Now I'm Binging things left and right.