Monday, October 18, 2010

Oct 18 2010 | Shanghai: back in the smog again

I arrived in Shanghai, rested and relaxed. Having stayed up all night leading up to the flight, I easily slept 9 of the 12 hour flight. I woke up every time they came around with food - and a couple of times I sampled the movie long enough to know it was horrible - and then fell right asleep again. Upon landing, everything went smoothly, including picking up my screwdriver from airport security, who held it since they confiscated it last month apparently out of fear that I would disassemble the plane.

This is a trip of many firsts. I'm traveling with many coworkers - more and more every day - so I have plenty of offers to go out to eat, walk around, get into adventures. Olga will be joining me next week - that's a first - and I had my first sushi in China.

China has some curious newspapers. The Shanghai Daily Sunday paper was full of funny headlines, such as "Census hoping for rise in monkeys", "Elmore Leonard Mystery Solved" (apparently he has been getting dialogue ideas by watching game shows), and a review of the latest Bill Bryson novel - that's my kind of paper!

PHOTO: Waiting for smoothies with two coworkers, overlooking the area around my office and hotel

On the other hand, Monday's China Daily had an editorial titled "China Deserves Nobel Peace Prize" - I read it and I still don't even understand what that was about. Still no references to the "other" China Nobel Peace prize news.

Different countries latch on to funny things. Last night in the hotel lobby, they kept playing an instrumental version of the theme song to Titanic. Then today, having lunch at a Shanghainese restaurant, that same tune again. How strange that it is so popular here. Such a horrible earworm!

This afternoon, a local coworker used the expression "it's like dumpling soup", meaning lots of bubbling, bumping around in chaos, bouncing off the walls. Used in a sentence such as "I love working at Venture Capital firms - everywhere else at 5:00 it's like dumping soup - but at VCs you can leave if you want to." We did leave at 5:00 - but only to get smoothies (Chocolate Strawberry for me) and have a casual business meeting at ElementFresh.

Several coworkers and I went to dinner at an Indian restaurant. The food was good and there was a surprise dance show (SEE PHOTO). Clearly it's going to be an interesting trip, one with many firsts.


The other Olga said...

The weather looks nice! Did the rain materialize?

Anonymous said...

You didn't ask for your same seat from the last trip? - Jason

Dave said...

no rain yet, but there's plenty of opportunity for that by next week's outdoor events.

@Jason lol

Phil said...

What is ElementFresh. Is that like our Whole Foods?

Dave said...

I would describe it more like Jamba Juice with healthy light fare. It's a very Westernized (Californized actually) cafe. Folks are polarized for and against it. I have a few coworkers who are extremely conservative food-wise due to past illness, and some who absolutely refuse Western food when they are here :)