Monday, September 7

China - My 8th anniversary with you

September 1st 2007, Seba lands in Shanghai for the first time. Flight was long because I took a connective one via London. Cheaper. Jetlag. Hot. Humid...Something I'm not use to, something I've never experienced before. First time in Asia. My baggage is lost, trying to sort it out with staff at airport. No understand english, me neither Chinese. What is my adress? No idea. Finds adress from something the school sent. Paperwork done in 3 hours, great. School tutor still waiting outside gate, lucky. Driving to school from airport, arrive in a campus. Walk to what is called a "hotel" on campus. Hazel with passport copies and filling in paper because I'm a foreigner. A good 45 minutes later get my room. It's small, damp, dirty. Lie down on bed, hear something on the floor. Cockroaches. Great, seriously what the hell? It's hot, I'm sweating, tired, jetlag hits in. Time to go for a dinner with the people from school. Walk to a Chinese restaurant. Strange food. Whole chicken in a soup, head, eyes, feet and everything attached. One Chinese goes "eat the eyes, you will see better" Wtf dude? Other strange food comes in. Only thing I like is some meat with something that resembles mayonnaise. Rice is ok too. Chopsticks, no idea how to use them. Someone gives a spoon. Better. Finished dinner, kinda hungry still. No idea where to get food. Whatever, too tired, need sleep. Back at hostel, hear the cockroach running on the floor. Seriously, where am I? Suddenly it seems like an awful place.

Strangely, after this first day everything started to just go better. There were never any real culture shock like all the books write.

Looking back at those days I have come lightyears ahead. Now small things like that don't bother me anymore. Humid or hot. Cockroaches or what. Not to mention the language barrier. Learned so much about myself and everything that is around me...around the whole world. Loving every part and decision I've done. Thank you China for all these years, for worse and better. You made so many things possible (and sometimes impossible).

Another one of those "Shanghai in 36 hours"...Came back home, repacked my bag. Took a nap and went to the gym. Went to meet a Finnish guy who was traveling in Shanghai and showed him the most awesome view of Shanghai. Rooftop from Roosevelts house, the day happened to be very clear so it looked amazing!

 Bund walk always full of people, much better to sit up here. Besides the view is much better too

 Stars and stripes: Model Red 
 Big carriers floating around the huangpu river 
 The Oriental Pearl
I still remember when we stayed here with the family in late 2007. And Stefan, you were hammered!
Driving home with the scooter, have to stop by the real estate exhibition center and take a pic of the sunset. Still remember the day I came here before, was crazy Shanghai days in 2011

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