From the Archives // Let the Games Begin

We arrived in Shanghai after a business class upgrade (yahoo!) from Tokyo. It was the best leg of our flights. We were greeted with cushy pillows, huge blankets, reclining seats, and champagne! All things that make this camper very happy. James slept the whole flight and I enjoyed the amenities before crashing for an hour as well. Unfortunately, the flight was only two and a half hours… we could have used a few more hours of rest. When we arrived in Shanghai, we grabbed luggage and headed to the subway. I lost my favorite Apple sweater lugging bags through the subway, but it served as a reminder that a new season has begun and the past is to be left behind. After an hour on the subway, a brief stop in front of the Shanghai Apple store to send a text or two back home, and a quick cab ride we had arrived at our hotel. We crashed  into bed and waited for the morning to go out and see the city.

Shanghai was hot and busy. We walked about an hour and a half through People’s Square and saw a few sites before I was done with the heat and jet lag started to set in. After a quick break at the hotel, we headed back to the subway, only a few blocks walk with luggage in tow. About fifteen minutes into our subway ride, James looked up, wide eyed with a worried look on his face. He began searching through his phone. When he finally looked back up, he noted that somehow we had ended up on the wrong train to the wrong airport. The flight he had booked was from the airport on the other end of town, so off we jumped and caught the opposite train.

After a very smoky 3 hour flight to Kunming (don’t kid yourself – no smoking signs mean nothing to Chinese business men) we spent two nights at the Sakura – two very quick and jet lagged nights. We walked the city throughout the morning when we couldn’t sleep and met Dan for dinner the second night. Early Thursday morning, we grabbed a bus to Wenshan… but when I say grabbed, it implies ease, which was really not the case. Brandt was probably the best face we have ever seen when he arrived to pick us up at the Wenshan bus station. After being stared at every time we stepped out of a hotel room, its nice to see another familiar American face. He greeted us with a huge hug and took us to our new home for the next three months. The apartment is minimal and spacious, once used by a family who had returned to the states to have there second baby.

Our first night was just that – a first night. After an awesome dinner with Brandt and Mel, we grabbed a taxi back across town to home sweet unsettled home. It was toasty from being closed up for a week or so with only one fan. We didn’t know how to work the water heater (or find towels), so cold showers were the choice as we had been traveling and sweating throughout the day. Cold is better than none. We walked to the nearby DeeMart for a tabletop fan for the bedroom and grabbed soap and laundry detergent, as we couldn’t find any food that looked remotely quick or easy except Oreo cookies. And thus, the night commenced, clunky and a little uncomfortable, but honestly better than we could have anticipated.

Today we are tackling cleaning floors, ordering water, unpacking, and hopefully internet. All of these are hopeful wishes for now.

   Fake Apple stores abound on almost every corner…

 Fake Apple stores abound on almost every corner…