Friday, June 17, 2005


Well, it's been a couple of days since I got into Shanghai, and I realized I haven't gotten around to posting an entry on my blog yet. Unfortunately, this one is going to have to be a bit shorter than I might have liked as I am to be shortly on my way to have lunch with my internship mentor in less than half an hour. Fortunately, while I haven't found the time to write any entries here, I have been e-mailing my family and Benita about my travels, so perhaps I can make use of that time spent by simply copying some of the content of my letters here. Shall we give it a go? Lets.

This entry is from a letter sent on my first day here to my family:
"Hey, I'm here at the Eastern China Normal University library. I arrived last night and was met at the airport by my professor's sister and a friend. We took a taxi back to the university where I have a nice room of my own on campus and where both of my greeters attend graduate school and live. Shangahai is incredible. It is like LasVegas, Los Angeles and New York combined. It's the largest city in China with 17 million residents, spans both banks of a dividing river and is expanding at a rapid pace, especially on the east (Pu Dong) side of the river which now houses the tallest hotel in the world. Enormous apartment buildings jut up everywhere and remind me of termite hills. I'm not used to seeing such tall buildings unless they are for business. And they are all grouped together in long rows of identical looking ones. Minjie says the average rent is 1000 per month. The freeway here is elevated and winds around the skyscrapers like a concrete river, and the lights on the commercial buildings are like Times Square. It was a surreal experience to skirt around the city at freeway speeds 50 feet above ground, taking turns and corners between 60 story buildings at night. I'll be touring the city for the next couple of days until I meet up with my professor tomorrow night for dinner. Then we're going to the airport on Monday and I'll leave for ShenZhen."

This is an excerpt from a letter sent on my second day here to Benita:
"Last night Minjie and I caught a cab to Nanjing road, a famous boulevard akin to the strip in Vegas. It was absolutely fantastic tosee and travel along. There are many tourists, mostly from other areasof China, and the sites are incredible. I took several photos and will try to send them to you soon. Anyway, back to Nanjing road. It runs perpendicular to the river here that divides the city, Huangpu River I think it is called. Traditionally the city has been built up along the West, or Pu Xi side of the river, and at the end of Nanjing Road and lining the river bank are several old buildings from the 50's or maybe earlier (a rarity around the city now), such as the famous Peace Hotel. These beautiful buildings provide an excellent juxtaposition against the other towering skyscrapers and make for excellent photograph opportunities. Crossing the road that runs along the river bank leads to a fantastic walking boulevard that runs for what seems like several miles along the Pu Xiside of the river. It is very wide and packed with sightseers all with their digital cameras. The best part of the river walk, aside from its inherent appeal of allowing one to walk alongside a beautiful river, is the view it provides of the Pu Dong, or East side, of the Huangpu. Minjie tells me that until about ten years ago, the Pu Dong side was virtually non existent, offering only a small fishing area and port. Now it is the most up and coming part of the city though, and features many of the best buildings, including an astoundingly colorful television tower, the Pearl Tower (the tallest hotel in the world) and other fantastic and modern buildings. This, along with theconstantly travelling river traffic make the river walk an engrossing experience, one of many I wish you could have shared with me. We then walked back along Nanjing road, bought Green Tea ice cream for 40 cents each and caught the subway to the Pu Dong side of the river. Because the area is so new, all the roads are well designed and very wide. The television tower is like the Eiffel Tower in that it offers tourists the opportunity to travel high up to the top for a price, but we elected instead to walk to the river bank again, unfortunately lacking in any sort of walk along it's bank akin to the Pu Xi side. Wecaught the subway and then a cab back to campus and now I'm preaparing to venture out again, only this time on my own."

Hope to write about more exciting adventures soon (and hopefully post some pictures as well) -joe

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