Wednesday, 4 July 2007


After leaving Melbourne on the 8am plane to Shanghai Pudong Airport, I arrived in a very humid Chinese city just after 8pm. After walking about 5 steps outside the airport, I was sweating, my jeans felt hot and clingy. I searched the airport for the Maglev (Magnetic Elevation) Train, I had to catch the Maglev to Longyang Rd Station to meet Hua, Heath and Michelle, school friends who were also holidaying in China at the same time I arrived. After fruitless walking along corridors that linked the airport to the carpark/train station (half of the airport is under renovation), I gave up and asked for direction and a lady kindly showed me the right way and I found Maglev to be a very sophisticated train. It does not run solely on electricity but on electromagnetic force and can travel up to 581kmph, but we only managed 431kmph and I've got a photo to prove that! It only took me 7 minutes to get to Longyang (30kms) whereas by a taxi it would have taken one hour!! The Chinese do not drive fast and the highest limit on freeways were only 80kmph.

Maglev Train

After meeting Hua, Heath & Michelle at Longyang, we had a quick catch up on what one other had been doing. Heath & Michelle has travelled around some Asian countries for a month and Hua was holidaying in China for 3 weeks, visiting her family. We caught a taxi to Hua's Grandmother's house where she offered us ice blocks to help cool us down, this was by the time of 10pm and we were still sweating, I rolled up my jeans to knee length. After some discussion, we decided that we would go to the hotel where Hua and I were staying and then go to the Nanjing (shopping district) where Heath & Michelle were staying and they would give me a quick tour of Nanjing.


We had a look around in Nanjing, the shops were closed but there were still people walking around, a person would come up to us and show us photos on a paper, I don't know what they are called but they target tourists and try to entice them to come into a shop with them where they sell fake designer things. We would just brush them off but once we've brushed them off, another one would come to us! It never ended! There were also a lot of beggars, an old man with a walking stick and a rattling cup followed us for a short while but we managed to lose him by fastwalking, but then he caught up with us when we were sitting down and ordering drinks at a cafe.

We had decided to sit down at a cafe and have a proper drink, (stiff drink for some of us!). After some deliberate thinking, we decided to drink up to welcome my arrival in China and to say farewell to Heath & Michelle, they were flying back to Hong Kong the next day. We ordered a shot each and then had tequila sunrise which was delicous but a bit difficult to drink at the end! We ended up feeling very hot with the alcohol in our bodies! It was past midnight at this point.

Sunrise Tequilas!

As a courtesty staff at the cafe provided us with a large bowl of very tiny roasted nuts which was delicious, but we had to learn how to master picking up the nuts with chopsticks and I have never used a chopstick properly before! After many attempts and coaching from the staff (they were very nice!) I finally mastered the skill and were able to eat nuts! By this point we were feeling very exhausted, and went back to Heath's hotel, said our bye's and headed back to our own hotel to sleep.

Finally eating a roasted nut!

The next morning Hua's Mother came around to wake us up and take us to breakfast, but we ended up going into little shops on the way and this delayed time and I had to rush to the airport in time to catch my plane to London, I went on the Maglev again and was still amazed at how smooth and quick it is!

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