It's 10pm here in Shanghai now and I'm about to pass out from exhaustion. So this will be a quick post again. I promise the next ones will be better! Good news is my VPN works here so I'm able to access my blog (& everything else China blocked) but the Internet is very slow. We landed here in the afternoon and customs took forever! Usually at other airports it's just one area for customs (with a huge lineup)...but here there were so many people they had like 4 separate areas for customs, each with a huge line. When we got closer to the front we noticed the officer was looking at every passport/visa with an actual microscope to ensure they were real which probably lengthened the process. We took about an hour and a half there then another hour or so looking for our driver back to the hotel. It was so hectic.
At the arrivals area, there was literally over 100 people all standing there with signs saying the names of who they were picking up. So we walked around awhile looking for our names and couldn't find them...then once more again to see if we missed it the first time. Then we went to ask for assistance at customer service. The girl was pretty helpful and helped us call our driver/guide (who we couldn't really communicate with because of the language barrier..everyone here speaks Mandarin. We speak Cantonese and English of course..but very few of them know English and if they do, it's very minimal) I think maybe our driver came and left when we didn't come out for such a long time (which I understand..since customs took so long)
Then by the time we got it all sorted out and left, it was dark and on the drive back to the hotel I couldn't see a thing outside. Usually that's one of my favourite parts of the trip - the initial ride back to the hotel.
I have to go to sleep now as we have to wake up at 5am (!!!) in the morning. We have to be on the road by 7am. When we went to Beijing last year, we also had to go out very early every morning because of the crazy traffic. It really does take hours to get anywhere.
Anyways, here are a couple pis from the plane:
Flying over the Arctic! You can see some ice pieces down there. I really want to visit the Arctic someday. I had the worst spot on the plane for picture taking..right next to the huge engine/wings lol. & here is the screen I was watching..seemed like we were going at a snail's pace. Crossing over Russia to China.
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