So, I left Shanghai this morning. It was rushed since dad saw that I only had an hour in Hong Kong and said that we should get to the airport early so that I can try to switch to an earlier flight. I've learned on this trip that the Hong Kong airport is notorious for delays and if you don't have at least 2 hours between flights, your luggage will most likely not show up at your final desitination when you do. So dad dropped me off and he was going to go park while I got my flight switched. Well, it was 10:30am when he dropped me off and I didn't realize it until after they'd switched me and handed me my boarding pass but my plane was boarding at 10:45, which meant that I wouldn't get a chance to say goodbye to dad :-( So I called him to tell him that my plane was boarding at 10:45 and he said, "what are you waiting for, just go now!" Well turned out there was reason for that. There was A LOT of people to pass through the immigration desks, and then there were still more people to get through security. There was a nice man in front of me who let me go ahead of him through the immigration officials. After I made it through security, I picked up my bags, jacket, and laptop and sprinted down to my gate. A couple of tenths of a mile with jacket, laptop, and basically 10 extra pounds and trying to dodge people...marathon training in no way prepares you for this. I was sweaty and out of breath and very tired by the time I got onto the plane. But I made the plane. Dad called while I was hitting the gate.
I really like Shanghai. I first came to Shanghai 2 years ago. I really liked it then too. I was born in Taiwan and came to the US at the age of 4. Since then, I had only been to Taiwan. I hadn't gone anywhere else in Asia. I can say, without a doubt, that I have no interest in ever moving to Taiwan. It's small, it's crowded, it's dirty. But I had really liked China. This year, like 2 years ago, I spent a couple of day sin Suzhou and then was in Shanghai. Suzhou is a big industrial park. I could work there. It's similar to the US in that the roads are big and you have room to move, no need to feel clausterphobic with everything and everything really close to you. Shanghai is like New York City. Shanghai is the most populated city in China and is the financial center of the country. It's got many western buildings and I feel quite comfortable there. Again, like last time, I leave it thinking that I really need to see if there's some way I can come back more often. I really should learn to read the language so I can get myself around. I really should just make a week long trip to Shanghai to shop. The one thing I don't like about China is how EVERYONE smokes. I was thinking how funny it was that I had to exit a hotel lobby to get fresh air because everyone inside was smoking as opposed to the US where the smoker must step outside to smoke. Many thoughts about Shanghai but they're still pretty jumbled right now. I still wish I had a chance to give my dad a final hug goodbye.
Manila - it's hot. I stepped off the plane and it was hot. While standing at immigration, I spotted a person whom I thought was a midget. Or is it dwarf? I don't remember the politically correct term. Anyways, then I saw more of them. Then I realized that they were just that short. They were kinda far away but I would guess they only came up to my chest. I made it out of the airport and to the hotel okay. I'm staying at the Pennisula, Manila which is this 5 star hotel. I feel that it is too classy for me :-)
I'm taking this opportunity to upload and sort more photos. I've added more photos to the Flickr account.
Taiwan photos - There's more photos of the Thai food restaurant we went to my last night there. We as in me and most of mom's family. Also some pictures of me with dad, cousin, a large thing of beer that was ordered at a restaurant. Please see individual photos for comments and descriptions. I added the new pics to the end of the existing set.
China photos - I'm getting there.
Manila photos - so far, only of my room, but not uploaded yet.
One of the projects that I brought but haven't touched is from Victorian Lace Today - the half hex spider shawl. Someone on the Victorian Lace Today KAL just finished one and it looks AMAZING! See her post on the finished shawl.