I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty proud of myself today. I mean, so proud that if I had the slightest idea how to order a stripper to my room I would do it on principal alone. My day began at 6:30 AM, which is the earliest I have been awake and fully functional since…maybe Christmas when I was 7? Anyway, this morning I explored part of Shanghai that I had not seen yet, took in some interesting sights, and discovered my inner self. But after all that mundane shit I decided to kick it into high gear. I’ll write in all caps just so you can feel the full effect of the productivity. I HAD MY FIRST CHINESE MCDONALDS, HAD MY FIRST ORDER MESSED UP AT PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED CHINESE MCDONALDS, ATE THE FOOD ANYWAY, MET WITH MY ESL PROFESSOR AFTER FINALLY LOCATING THE BUILDING, PAID MY TUITION, GOT MY BOOKS, BOUGHT A CELL PHONE, RENTED AN APARTMENT, (deep breath) MADE IT RAIN, DID SOME ABS, SHAVED, SHOWERED, READ MY COURSE BOOK, ATE SOME SOUP, GOT A BEER, ATE SOME SWEET AND SOUR PORK…and thats pretty much where I’m at now. I know, I get pretty exhausted just talking about it. Don’t worry, the lower arm paralysis and double vision will pass.
As for the title of this post. Curtis Jensen suggested that my posts need to be broken down into paragraphs. He’s actually one hundred percent correct, but on principle alone I just couldn’t do it. Maybe next time BOWAH.
Today was much easier than the first day was. For one thing, I began utilizing the universal language of hand gestures which made communication a slight bit easier. Although my second attempt to find the location of my ESL class failed miserably, the increased walking prompted me to buy a new pair of sneakers which ran me about 69 yuan, a little over $11. I found a riverside trail which stretched probably 600 meters along a small green waterway. It was nice to get out and walk and breathe in the “fresh air”. There is a constant haze over Shanghai as a result of the air pollution, but it still manages to be pretty bright out. Plus it is hot as hell here, and the humidity is through the roof. I think I lost about half my bodyweight today simply in sweat alone. I managed to get in touch with my ESL teacher, and made an appointment to meet him at his office at around 12:30 tomorrow. I got a few emails from bros at home today, one being my Dad, which is always pretty awesome. So far I can say the only truly negative aspect of my trip is the mosquito bite that I somehow got on the palm of my hand. I’m going to rank it No. 4 on worst places to get a mosquito bite. No.1 I would say is the inside of the mouth which I have not experienced, and am not 100% positive has ever happened, but I can imagine would be terrible. No.3 would be the bottom of the foot, simply because you have to walk on it and I can’t scratch the bottom of my foot without laughing. No.2 is open to opinion but it probably exists somewhere in the nut region or inside your nose which, like the mouth, I am not sure has a long track history of existence. I am not sure if this is going on in America but all I see on tv here is the world basketball tournament. Well yea, that’s on and that’s really my only opinion on it. I have been watching it but I don’t even like basketball in the states, so watching a bunch of players with last names that look like a tea ingredient, or belong on a shampoo bottle at Bed, Bath & Beyond, hasn’t been too appealing. Well that is all for now, I’m all hopped up on green tea and haven’t showered in about 48 hours so I think I’ll jump on that…just looking out for others BRO!
Needless to say my arrival to Shanghai was a little overwhelming. For starters the sleeping pill I had so heavily relied on in prior planning decided to crap out on me, granting me about twenty minutes of restless sleep. Regardless, I still managed a bit of exploration upon arrival at my hostel and it was during this excursion that I reached some very serious conclusions. The first I pretty much knew was coming, I need to learn Mandarin, ASAP, If not for convenience then for my own well being. I managed to order lunch today only because there was a massive picture of dumplings over the counter and all I had to do was point and nod, next time I may not be so lucky…you can only eat so many dumplings. Apparently crosswalks in China are about as obsolete as professional badminton in the USA. Don’t get me wrong, pro badminton is awesome but it’s not going to rake in fans anytime soon, which is surprising because it is definitely top ten in the most popular high-school gym sports of our generation. But I digress; crosswalks don’t mean shit in China. I almost got run over like eight times today while the lights clearly had me in the right of way. But that’s just it, in China pedestrians have no right away. You either pay attention or wind up as a hood ornament. Personally I’m not ready to be a hood ornament, not yet at least. I have stuff to live for; the last Harry Potter movie hasn’t even come out yet! The third conclusion I came to, and this may very well be the most unexpected, is that Shanghai is more than I imagined. Before my utter failure communicating with the locals, I was completely entranced by the beauty and uniqueness of this city. I honestly see how people come here and never leave. Speaking of those people, I need to find a few. I’m a bit lonely at the moment being the only English speaking person I know, but that will all change in good time. I’m not worried about it, don’t worry about it, I’m not worried, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m going to enjoy my first Chinese beer, which I was heartbroken to discover is actually 8 rmb instead of the 5 rmb I had originally thought (roughly $1.20 instead of .73c) but oh well, we can’t win them all. I will have to find something to occupy myself with. I only pulled my laptop out because I tripped in front of a pair of Chinese girls and felt the best weapon against their sadistic gaze was productivity. Mission accomplished.
Location: America 1600 hrs
So I have just finished packing..i think. I waited until about 4 hours ago to even think about packing and so I found myself running around like a maniac getting things together. In the process I found a can of Pabst in my backpack which I obviously pounded like a bro. Had to do it, Pabst is American after all. However I have a serious issue at hand. I don’t speak Chinese. My cab driver will likely speak Chinese. How do I get him to drive me to my hostel? Now those of you who are reading this and just screamed in utter terror…calm yourselves, I figured it out. I will write the adress on a piece of paper in, and this is the kicker, CHINESE! That way he isnt insulted by my complete illiteracy and I don’t have to live in an airport terminal in downton Shanghai. Everyone wins! Alright well thats all I have on my mind at the moment. Right now I am just hoping for a safe flight. I will be sure to update as soon as I get there! Later America, its been awesome and I will miss you!