A very very long journey but we are here. Chinese immigration and customs were polite, even friendly. In fact there was no customs check, only immigration. They took a picture of me (and everyone else) checking in, but I guess that’s not much worse than at lot of things we do at home.

We were met timely by our first guide, Cloud, and his driver (Mr. Cheng). He explained a lot about Shanghai to us, told us about the fashion, the rivers and all the bridges. And kind and sweet as he was, he brought us first to the wrong hotel! Many concerned faces from the helpful staff, but no, neither of us was in their computer. Then we pulled out the itinerary. No this was not the hotel on our list. So he called his trusty driver back and we went blocks away to our correct hotel.

Those helpful front desk staff put us into a “business suite” that, unfortunately for all concerned, only had one bed. (Did I mention how exhausted we are?) We told the helpful porter that we needed a room with two beds. I guess we shall have to emphasize to people that rings on our fingers do not signify that we are married to one another, but to two fine men who simply chose not to accompany us on this trip. After much angst, we were moved to a small neat room on the 21st floor that has an amazing window view of the Shanghai skyline. The Chinese have discovered mini-bars, but also stocked the room with all manner of interesting complimentary toiletries, an electric pot to boil water in, some nice tea, and some instant coffee packets (made in Vietnam). There is also a water spigot in the bathroom. Tomorrow we’ll have to ask if that water is purified.

Shanghai is a glory of colored lights. Not like Las Vegas. Not like anything we’ve every seen. Fun, fancy, dancing, prancing and outlining lights. Many are beautifully designed. Buildings with tresses of lights in many colors. Amazingly it’s not tacky, it’s lovely.

No idea when you’ll get to see this. WiFi is lobby only in this hotel. Ironically, they provide free LAN ethernet access (you remember what that is, right?) in every room.


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