Yawn, good heavens I'm tired. it's 6:42 am on Saturday. What a whirlwind. My flight over was ok, though Air Canada didn't fail to live up to its reputation -- it was a ratty old plane, the headrest kept falling off my seat and there was no seatback entertainment consoles (just a VHS player that obviously didn't have a functioning tracking button. They tried to show a music video from Bon Jovi, but it kept jamming 3/4 of the way through, so they'd start it over again -- three times.)
The Shanghai airport blows away anything in Canada. Very efficient, my bag was waiting for me once I cleared customs. I had to dash to an interview before the gentleman I was to see left Shanghai for Beijing, so I grabbed a taxi and we headed over.
Again, I couldn't believe how modern everything was. One of the guys I'm going to see gave me a few tips before coming, and number one was "be prepared to say: I had no idea..."
We'd kill for highways like these, and the taxi driver occasionally almost sometimes stayed within the white lanes. I know this is Shanghai and not at all representative of the rest of the country.
I made my interview on time, but only had a quick hour with the guy. Then it was back across Shanghai to my hotel, the Astor House. It's a grand old stone building built in the 1840s. I've got hardwood floors, free high-speed, a king-size bed (though the mattress is so hard you can play it like tom-toms). I have realized though that China blocks certain websites, such as Blogger. I seem to be able to write posts, but I can't see them.
I got about 6 hours sleep last night but was up by 2 am. Time for TV movies! (Hell Boy on your first night in Shanghai is a little wierd).
Today I have to find a SIM card for my phone, get a map, and check out the neighbourhood. (Oh, and write a column that I promised to file to the magazine before I left -- writing about Canadian business on my first day in Shanghai promises to be even wierder than Hell Boy.)
The Astor House Hotel --