Wushanyi International Youth Hostel – Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
|到||And we have words of the day again! Today's word is "Dào," which can mean "to arrive" among other things. I thought it was fitting as I have now arrived in China. It's good to be back here!|
|Dào||I'm in Hangzhou right now, which is pretty much my favorite city in the world. I think it's an incredibly beautiful place, and I have a number of friends here. I plan to go to dinner with one of them tonight.|
As to the story of my arrival, life is good. On my first flight, from SLC to SFO (Salt Lake to San Francisco) I sat next to a very interesting elderly man who lives in Hawaii. He used to own a restaurant chain and has had a very interesting life. We talked the whole flight, which was nice.
We arrived in San Francisco without incident, ahead of schedule (which I was thankful for). I had a full hour and fifteen minutes to catch my connecting flight to Shanghai, which I made without incident.
SFO to PVG (Shanghai Pudong Airport) is a rather long flight, but not the longest I've ever flown. It takes approximately 12 hours. I traded my seat with a gentleman who wanted to sit with his wife and got a window seat near the wing. United Airlines 747s' coach sections are built like this:
ABC DEFG HJK
I was in seat K. A professional magician named Gary from 'Vegas had seat H and a Chinese girl from Hangzhou named 朱玥 (Her English name is Echo) who's been studying in New York sat in seat J. This flight was interesting in that we all talked for an hour before mutually deciding to sleep. It's rare to find seat-mates who want to talk with you on more than just a casual level. I ended up talking with Echo for something like seven or eight hours of the trip and we both talked with Gary for about two (he slept most of the flight). It's always good to make good friends – Echo and I talked for a while on QQ this morning (I'll explain QQ later).
The food was typical airline fare – okay but not excellent. It was enough to satisfy.
My original plan was to take the Maglev from the airport to the subway, then the subway to the Shanghai Hongqiao railroad station, then the train to Hangzhou, and finally a taxi to my hostel. Thankfully Echo and her parents offered me a ride. Her father is a customs agent in Hangzhou, so I got a ride in a government van!
At the hostel I met my friend Nita and made a few new friends, which is why I love hostels so much, then I went to bed, exhausted from the day's travel.
Today should be good – I plan to do some exploring and this evening I'll go to dinner with 丁静静 (Kaylee Ding), my best friend – I used to work with her when I was in China last time, but she no longer works for Yotrio.
Anyhow, one of my friends wants to talk, so I'm going to go. Peace out!
小麦 (Steven Collins)