Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sneak Preview Of Shanghai Trip

As I mentioned in my last entry, I was away for four days over the last weekend. Not because my summer holiday has started, but because I self-declared a four-day holiday for myself in-conjunction of the rainy season lol! The destination was Shanghai, China as the main intention for me visit the city is to visit Expo 2010, a World Expo in the tradition of international fairs and expositions held every few years. 

This year is arguably the biggest expo ever held in its 150-years history, in terms of the number of visitors and the cost. That can be comprehend as it is held in the most populated country in the world. 

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Baby Duffy tagged along to Shanghai as well.

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My late lunch, consisting of Tokyo Borscht, corn and sweet potato cold soup, and white sesame rice at Soup Stock Tokyo, inside Narita Airport.

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We took ANA's flight NH 921 which departs at 18:10.

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Boarding pass with one of the many pieces of red papers. That guy looks like my neighbour's grandpa haha!

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Not my first time taking ANA's plane, but still must camwhore with the aircraft!

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I had the Sleeping Buddha as my partner in crime haha!

Unlike my trip to Seoul a year ago, I wasn't travelling alone this time, as I went to Shanghai with Kai Cung. The idea to make this trip came from him few months ago, because he was dying to visit the Expo. Taking into consideration on the fact that I have a poor command in Mandarin, I will never visit China, a country where the people speak almost hundred-percent of Mandarin, unless I have someone to accompany me.

So, it was a great chance for me to go there by tagging along with Kai Cung, who will become my talking-parrot-cum-translator haha! 

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Arrived at the airport a bit early, so we took the time to do some shopping at the tax-free zone upon checking-in. Ended up getting myself a bottle of Ralph Lauren perfume and a new pair of watch, which comes with a zebra-ish metal box as well.

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Several minutes at the boarding gate, before boarding the plane.

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牛と牛蒡のすき煮 (Beef and Greater burdock's sukini), soba, custard pudding, snack mix, salad, sashimi, eda-mame and a bottle of red wine.

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Foreigners entering the country were required to fill in this form.

After the three-hour flight, we finally touched down at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. It was here that I encountered the first of my many awkward and silly experiences during our short time in Shanghai. It happened at the Immigration counter, when Kai Cung and I were queuing-up to get our passport stamped. Seeing the two tourists before us walked towards the counter at the same time, I did the same. 

"One by one!" was the short line I got immediately from the Chinese Immigration officer. 

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The Immigration inside the airport.

That was the first phrase I heard from a Chinese at the mainland, which also became the line used by Kai Cung to tease me throughout the whole trip haha wtf! 

Our tour guide, a local Chinese was already waiting there when we walked out from the arrival hall. It wasn't hard to spot him, as he was holding a blue flag, with the familiar HIS logo on it. When we reported to him, he had some slight difficulties pronouncing my name, which I find it a bit surprising. It is so hard to pronounce the word "C-A-L-V-I-N"?

Anyway, he appeared to be quite happy when he found out that we both are not Japanese and able to speak Mandarin. We had some short chat, while waiting for the rest of the group members to come out.

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Our flight from Tokyo arrived a few minutes late than the schedule.

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This is how the arrival hall in the Terminal 2 looks like. Our tour guide and his blue flag is visible in this picture.

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Some decorations at the airport to promote the on-going Expo 2010.

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The very first convenience store that I spotted in China. "Cheerway Easy Go!" - what a random name for a convenience store lol!

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While waiting for the rest of the group members to come out, I took a short stroll around the place and saw this interesting machine.

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Boarded this bus to our hotel, before beginning our adventure around the city the next day.

During our one-hour journey from the airport to the hotel, the guide introduced himself, and gave us a brief information of what we can expect during our time in Shanghai, so that the Japanese wouldn't be super shocked during their encounter with the locals. Weather wise, the sight of clear blue sky is a rare thing to Shanghai, as it is mostly cloudy everyday. When it rains, it pours really badly. Overall, our tour guide, Mr Chou Kai Sen, speaks relatively good Japanese, minus some minor mistakes here and there.

I find that I was able to relate most of the stuff that he explained to us, as it is quite similar to what we face back home. Among some interesting points were the fact that the population of the city is over 20 million, which is almost as much as the population of Malaysia! On the customer service, I shall sum it in just one word - bad. In fact, it is even worse that Malaysia. Not only the cashier will never give you a friendly smile, they would just literally throw your stuff into your bag when you are paying at the cashier. That was exactly what I experience at one of the convenience store that night, which surprised me haha!

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 You won't be smiling if you are dealing with the traffic in Shangahi lol!

If driving in KL is considered challenging, wait till you try driving in Shanghai. Queue-cutting and going against the red light are two common sights in China. It is not that one or two drivers who does it, but almost everyone does that. When they overtake, they just couldn't be bothered to turn on the signal light.

In Japan, pedestrian is always given the top priority, but in China, it is the opposite. Drivers are the king of the road. That is why every time I cross the roads in China, I turn 360-degrees to see if everything is clear, before crossing; and not just by looking left and right haha! Considering all this factors, it was clear why the tour guide didn't allow us to sit in the front row of the bus, worried that the bus might need to make emergency breaks suddenly.

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Double-bedroom, which was not bad for the price we paid.

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We were halfway catching up with the score of the World Cup quarterfinal match.

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The toilet, which was a million miles bigger than the normal ones in Japan.

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Never thought that there is Lawson in China too. By the way, plastic bags aren't provided here, and we gotta pay for it if we need one. 

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 Some of the drinks are common brand which are sold in Japan.

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I somehow find it amusing and funny to see these soft drinks having different names. Imagine the Japanese calling Coca Cola as 古歌コアラ lol!

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Our late late supper, brought from the convenience store downstairs.

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My red notes have evolved into some other different colours lol!

Since we already managed to "make friends" with our guide, we were given the highest floor for our room. Later that night, he came to our room to check if everything was alright. Since ours were the last room that he had to go, he ended up chit chatting with us, while watching the World Cup quarter-final match between Brazil and Netherlands haha!

To make sure we were fully energized for the next day, we went to bed straight away. Stay tuned for more updates from Shanghai!

11 comments:

sakura said...

disposable mobile phones?

the type where u put coins in d machine, then a hp drops down, then after one-time use, throw?

sakura said...

disposable mobile phones?

the type where u put coins in d machine, then a hp drops down, then after one-time use, throw?

sakura said...

disposable mobile phones?

the type where u put coins in d machine, then a hp drops down, then after one-time use, throw?

sakura said...

aiyaya, y d comment appeared 3x?... how to del them? T.T

calvin said...

@ sakura:
yes, something like that. according to the instructions, the mobile phone is suitable for businessman and tourists who stay in shanghai for short period.

it can be used to make calls but not sending sms messages. since it cannot be used after one leaves china, it will become e-waste. so, one is required to return the phone after using.

kae vin said...

banana going to shang hai expo! woohoo :P

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
haha wtf!
suan siao-ing me lar now?

kesenaitsumi89 said...

Haha.. Banana~~

Looking forward to see more photos in China. ^^

calvin said...

@ kesenaitsumi89:
the good news however, is that i am now a half-ripe banana xD

stay tune for more updates from shanghai!

sakura said...

oh, like tat seems waste leh ><

calvin said...

@ sakura:
yup, in some ways, it is unfriendly towards the environment >.<