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Shanghai is the worst city. Cold, grey and sterile. I walked and walked and walked. I taxied and walked some more. It took me a few hours to find a bank that was open to withdraw money. My first taxi driver didn’t seem too happy when I gave him my card.  I ended up giving him $40 American money which I’m sure was more than he needed. The total was 51 yuan. I like the look of their money.. it seems more real and colorful 🙂

They have cool architecture here, it’s interesting the juxtaposition between the past and the future. Almost everything is closed, I think due to the Chinese New Year, though other than the random signs I wouldn’t know. They still have Merry Christmas signs in most businesses that are open!

It would probably help if I knew the language, but oh well. This is the longest day of my life. But I’m in heaven! I love everything because it is so mysterious and foreign. People are so serious, most look at me with a questioning stare.. I imagine most of them think my look rather interesting (I’ve caught more than one person stare at my mismatched pink sock).

I stopped in to a tea shop at the far end of a very crowded pedestrian only alleyway. I wish I had only come here, or at least start here.. it feels the most authentic or less touristy area. I finally have wifi.

I have about one more hour before I will grab another taxi and make my way back to the airport. I have yet to find a place that I’m comfortable eating at, but luckily I packed trail mix and granola bars. (Thanks mom!)

There is a high speed train I took into the city called the Maglev. It got to 300km/hr which I have no idea how fast it is, but it seems really fast. I also have no idea what the exchange rate is, but the least I could take out of the ATM was 100 yuan, so hopefully that’s about $20?

Great learning experiences and lots of exercise. I slept most of the plane ride, but the last 3 hours were torture.. I couldn’t figure out how to turn on my light to read and although I started the flight out with my own row, a little girl and her father (I think) ended up sitting next to me… at least I had claimed the window!

Wow. Not even a whole day into the trip and it feels like I’ve been gone for so long!