Shanghai looks different even before you land.
The buildings lie in a very distinctive grid that goes on and on and on and on!
 I had heard correctly - there are English "subtitles" on most signage, but the not-quite-rightness of that English was a hint that the language barrier might be a little higher than I orginally suspected. This one read "Best airport experience for centuries."
I was able to navigate the airport and getting a taxi to my hotel, it just takes time when you're having to figure out the process and the language. The hotel was worth the wait. I stayed at The Kerry at a colleague's recommendation. Here was my view.
And while this isn't a great photo, it gives you an idea of how high up I was - the view gave me a bit of vertigo!
I stayed at two hotels between Shanghai and Hangzhou, and can happily report that all the hotel bathrooms (all two) were this nice! (Public bathrooms, on the other hand, were holes in the floor. They were ceramic and flushed, but my knees weren't used to that style toilet!)
But my favorite part about China was the food. They had me at breakfast!
The Kerry is obviously a popular international conference destination, so they serve a traditional American breakfast, but also a traditional English, Chinese, and ... fill in the blank breakfast too. I just went down the buffet putting little bits of all the things I didn't recognize and wow, was that awesome! From the upper left is congee (a rice porridge with all manner of savory toppings to choose from - my fave was a marinated tofu the color of beets with a decidedly alchoholic kick to it. Going clockwise from the congee is a spicy potato salad, salami with a cornichon, lotus root with rice stuffing, pork and greens stuffed bun, pickled cucumger, pickled ginger, turnip pastry (also one of my faves!), pork dumpling, and kimchee. Oh, and grapefruit juice. One of the best things was the Dragon Fruit.
I knew I wouldn't be able to get these flavors in the US, so I ate all them a LOT!!! What a great way to start each day!! I think I walked most of it off...

To read about my journey in order, follow these links:
01 - Shanghai!
02 - A Mall and Grocery Store
03 - Custom Dress
04 - The Long Museum
05 - The Quay on the Yangtze?
06 - Old City of Shanghai at Huangpu District
07 - Old Shanghai
08 - Dumplings for lunch!
09 - Yu Garden
10 - Storyland
11 - Hot Pot at Cloud Nice Shopping Mall Changning Branch
12 - The China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair
13 - Art Exhibitions at the China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair
14 - Workshop: Gel Printing
15 - The train to Hangzhou
16 - Speaking at China Jiliang University
17 - Hangzhou - Our personal fall-apart party
18 - The Teahouse Garden in Hangzhou
19 - China wrap-up


Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Yum! I have yet to find purple dragonfruit in the U.S.! What an adventure!

Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

At first, I thought it was some kind of odd congealed salad - it was SO pretty! :)