Home > Travel > Shanghai


March 18th, 2009

Since we got a “super saver” ticket to Shanghai, we did not choose our airline–they did not even tell us which airline until after we paid. It turned out to be JAL. My last experience with them more than 20 years ago was less than ideal, but they were pretty decent this time–for a 3-hour flight, at least. They had the back-of-the-seat video system where you could choose from more than a dozen new films, a dozen old ones, and some TV offerings as well. The kind where you can start, pause, fast-forward, etc. They even didn’t charge for booze. They also had a feature that I never saw before and kind of liked: cameras in front of and below the plane, so you could watch the take-off, landing, and the scenery below the plane in flight. Though their “PA IN OPERATION” signal could have used a few abbreviation periods to make it look less like a torture announcement.

Shanghai is like I remember it: smoky, smoggy, and a bit smelly. Sachi and I took the taxi from the airport, and the taxi driver raced wildly; the way everyone shifts lanes and crowds each other off the road is kind of scary. At least twice on the way we made exclamations in unison when it looked like we were going to hit someone. There is construction everywhere, and tons of high-rise buildings.

We got to the hotel, and though it is relatively new and nice, the lobby had a strong chemical smell. The elevator was a bit better, and the floor where our room is better still. You can still smell it, but it’s bearable.

We went out to a local convenience store to pick up some beers and snacks. Three 500 ml beers, bottles of tea and coke, 2 bags of snacks, and a largish bag of pistachio nuts set us back all of $7. That also brings back memories of how cheap it can be here. Even the taxi ride cost only $23 for a very long ride in from Pu Dong Airport. The only thing that’s too expensive so far is the Internet access in the hotel–$5 a day, and only less if you connect for less than an hour.

Tired right now–will post this tomorrow, later, when we get around to starting up Internet access.

Categories: Travel Tags: by
  1. stevetv
    March 20th, 2009 at 01:57 | #1

    I read the title of this piece, and I thought it was going to be about what Geitner and AIG recently did to Obama.

    (I kid, I kid.)

  2. Paul
    March 20th, 2009 at 18:10 | #2

    At least twice on the way we made exclamations in unison when it looked like we were going to hit someone.

    Do you mean you and Sachi, or do you mean you, Sachi, and the driver?

    As long as the driver isn’t exclaiming, it’s probably nothing to get too excited about! LOL

    In Thailand they drive like that as well, only higher speeds on more developed roads. My own technique as a passenger is to simply not pay any attention at all if I can help it. That way, when the accident does come, I’ll be all loose and relaxed, not tense.

Comments are closed.