Arriving in Shanghai and Presents

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This post was originally published in 2007
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

First I said Ni hao, then her dad said Ni hao.  This continued for some time.  Yvonne’s Mum asked me what time we had arrived in Shanghai: san dian ban dao le ma?  But I thought she said Sheng dan ban dao le ma?  The latter doesn’t make sense, and I had to get Yvonne to translate it.  Turns out they have an accent that is hard for me to understand.  Life would be boring if everything was too easy.

As soon as one steps off the plane one can smell the pollution.  It isn’t as bad as I had expected, but it was still there.  Outside Pudong airport there is a big road, built especially for transport to and from the airport.  It is far bigger than anything we have in NZ, and it isn’t even a main road.  It is raised off the ground, and is about 2 stories high.

To catch a taxi from the airport one has to line up, which was much more orderly than I expected.  We got a van because of our copious amounts of luggage.

The ride from the airport to Yvonne’s parent’s house took about an hour, and was fun.  Her dad pointed out that there was a gold sun, 金太阳 – which is lucky.

One thing that struck me was that the documentaries are true, people really do transport ridiculous loads on bicycles.  I saw one car packed full of tired looking construction workers, and another full of ‘cool’ looking young men in suits.

The funniest was a man transporting a bathtub on a scooter.  Yeah, a bathtub, lengthwise on a scooter.  HA!

Even just driving from the airport to Yvonne’s parent’s house it was pretty obvious that Shanghai is still developing rapidly.  There is construction going on everywhere.  There are a lot of totally crap looking places too.  Crap like nothing we have in NZ.  South Auckland is a paradise compared to them.

Another interesting thing was the way roads are laid out.  There is the road, which usually consists of two lanes per way, then on each side there is a bike road, then a footpath.  This makes the roads quite a challenge to cross.

After arriving at the house and moving the luggage inside, we sat for awhile.  Then we ate dinner, which was tasty.

I laid the presents out on the coffee table, and said that they could open them after dinner.

Yvonne was pretty excited, bouncing up and down on the sofa.  All of the presents went down well, I had to explain that NZ is full of crap birds that can’t fly, and we love them.  I think they were a little confused about that, but they liked the singing Kiwi anyway.  Yvonne’s Dad particularly liked the slippers, saying that they were the nicest he’s ever had.  Looks like he had fun modeling them for the camera, shame the cameraman couldn’t get a focused shot.

Yvonne’s Mum loved the hand cream,  demonstrating it’s intended use.  She said she’d wear the necklace all the time, and Yvonne explained the meaning.

Yvonne’s dad can be seen in picture 08, posing with his new favourite bookmark.  They both loved the blanket, and can be seen stretching it out so that they could appreciate it’s full size.

The card went down well too, I heard it being opened through the night.

I went to bed early because I was tired.

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