Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thoughts and Observations about my very short trip to Shanghai

  • It was very disconcerting for me to see so many foreigners.  One time, I saw a foreigner come out of a shop that I was about to enter, and it just didn't seem right to me.  I am so used to be the only foreigner to enter a place.
  • I can't help but want to watch a street fight instead of just walk by.  I saw one take place between these two middle-aged women at a shopping center.  They screamed and gesticulated, and appeared to be on the verge of exchanging blows.  Someone, who was on the side of one of the women, was recording the fight with her mobile phone.  Eventually, one of the women walked away.  I made the people, I was with, stop so I could watch.
  • Tony saw a tunnel train!
  • I hate dealing with the government, any government.  The visa and passport process always makes me wrought with anxiety and angst.  I swear my wife was going to kill me when I had my problems with the consulate about the using the statutory declaration in lieu of guarantor form. (Form PPT 132)
  • I also thought Jenny was going to kill me when she learned that I didn't bring my driver's license with me.  I thought I didn't need it since I was trying to renew Tony's passport.  But click on the link of my previous bullit, and you will see that I was mistaken.
  • Riding the fast trains twixt Shanghai and Wuxi was quite a grand thing.  The views were wonderful and the scenery was ever-changing.  One didn't have a chance to get bored.  Only problem was that one the trip to Shanghai was too short for my liking.  I finally was settled in my seat, had my Ipod out for reading, and before I could say "Jack Johnson" very fast, we were in Shanghai.
  • When one returns to Wuxi from Shanghai, one has to prepare to de-board when one passes Suzhou.  It used to be a half-hour ride twixt Suzhou and Shanghai.  Now, it is but an instant.
  • I saw a Gap clothing store on Nanjing (or is it Nanjin?) Road in Shanghai.  I used to shop there back in the day which was over ten years ago.  The styles in the Shanghai Gap left me cold.  I am from another time.
  • The turnstiles on the Shanghai Subway are automated.  You have to put your subway card/token into a slot that lets you enter.  I performed this process less than gracefully on a few occasions, as did Jenny.  One time, Tony ran ahead of her as she put her card into the slot, entered the subway stop and so left her stranded.  She had to go to a service desk to reactivate the card and so be able to enter.  I kept trying to enter the turnstile without properly "wanding in" my card.
  • We saw a tank full of sharks and turtles on Nanjing Road.  Tony thought the sharks were dolphins.
  • I didn't take many pictures in Shanghai.  I did shot some video which I will put together to make a video-piece about Tony and trains.
  • My brother was able to send Jenny's inviter documents for her Canadian Visa Application just in time.  I never would have thought that I would have been phoning my brother on the other side of the world to make sure he had sent me an email.  
  • I also called my Mom.  "Ma!  I am phoning from Shanghai!" Cool!

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