As many of you already know, I will be in China for the next month. So I thought it would be nice to keep you all updated. I plan on participating in an international research project at Wuhan Technical University, followed by a couple of weeks of travel. After those two weeks, I will return to Wuhan once more for a conference at, which I will be presenting a paper, and I will finally fly back to the Netherlands on July 4th.
Day #1: So after spending nearly 21 hours on airplanes today, Dave and I finally arrived to Shanghai. Bad weather in Boston caused us a 1-hour delay before the trip even started. As a result, making our 1.5-hour layover in San Francisco turned out to be quite stressful. But it all worked out in the end. So we were off again for another 13-hours in the air. Some of you may have already experience this once, but this must have been the strangest flight I have ever taken.. Because we left San Francisco at 1:15PM on Wednesday, but didn't get Shanghai until 5PM on Thursday. So due to the huge time difference we virtually spend nearly 27 on the plane. What really surprised me was that it never got dark! I guess I could have reasoned that this would happen, but I certainly wasn't expecting it. It did get to sleep for about 4 hours on the plane (personal best!), but all in all, it has been an seriously exhausting and confusing trip.
Once we got to Shanghai, it took us a while to figure out the local Metro, because they provided no English names/instructions. Since the people at the information desk were of little help, we had no choice but to apply a visual scan and match approach on the various symbols in our destination in order to figure out what train to take and for how many stops. We did figure it out! An hour and a half later we made it to the right street where the next challenge would await: finding the hotel. It turned out that we had misunderstood some of the street names here, so it ended up taking us another hour.
The hotel is surprisingly nice however, given the fact that it was only $58 per room per night. After heading out once more to get some food and drinks, we are ready to FINALLY call it a night. I am now 7 hours ahead of the Netherlands and 13 on Boston. I'm curious to find out how these time differences will feel in the morning, but right now it really doesn't matter. It is almost midnight and I am ready to sleeeeeeep!
We plan on finding out in the morning, whether we should travel to Wuhan tomorrow or the day after. This will depend on the availability of tickets, I guess. I will keep you all posted, including some pictures!
Finally, a quick note to self: learn the Chinese word for NO! You can not walk for 10 meters here without someone offering you Watches, Bags, Sunglasses, Hash or "Lady Massages".