“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…” (A Tale of Two Cities)
Hello world! What a long, strange trip it’s been, and it’s not over yet. Way back in the beginning of summer I had imagined writing all of the time about my travels in China and India. But alas, the work commitments of this job have left me with precious little time to write for pleasure. The upshot of all this work, however, is a plethora of new stories that I am slowly digesting and will be writing about in the coming weeks and months. But before I get ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning–the beginning of the summer that is.
My adventures started in Hong Kong, where I arrived on June 5th. I spent most of the next week in Hong Kong, and was joined along the way by two friends who were also students in the ICKCBI summer program I am running. You can read about my adventures in Hong Kong here and here and here, and Beijing here, so I won’t rehash them all here.
Since my earlier travelog ends about there, a few transitional notes are probably necessary here. From Beijing we took the train to Shanghai, but due to a tight travel schedule and one-day delay in departing from Beijing, I had to fly out of Shanghai the same day I arrived. So my time in Shanghai was not really long enough to gain any impressions from, so I don’t have much to comment on about that leg of my trip.
What I did see what quite unimpressive, partly owing to the area we visited–a massive shopping mall area by the radio tower–and the limited amount of time and rushed schedule. Whatever the case, without a longer visit I really can’t say Shanghai made much of an impression on me. If anything, the highlight was the traffic snake, which was pretty cool, but hardly a “must-see” Shanghai destination (even for a crusty planet guide traveler)! Behold the traffic snake.
There was one other interesting thing, which I didn’t fully understand, but which appeared to be some kind of Buddhist shrine, located under one of the walkways going into a large shopping complex. Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures from up close, but you can get a sense of what it looks like from this picture taken from above.
It was a really odd place for a shrine–or so I thought–but it didn’t seem out of place to the local folk, so who am I to judge. I am sure someone knows why exactly why it was located so close to the mall.
So after my brief stint in Shanghai, and a near plane miss at the airport–there’s nothing better than sprinting through the airport with a large backpack as the person on the loudspeaker tells you all passengers for your flight should now be aboard–I took off once again for a new destination–this time the ‘City of Eternal Spring,’ better known as Kunming.
From there I had one day to catch my breath before the students began arriving from all corners of the globe. And from there the real story begins. But that is another tale for another time–or in this case another post in the near future. Stay tuned for more exciting tales from Asia coming up right after this commercial break!
Until next time, as they say in China…Wàn shì jù bèi, zhǐ qiàn dōng fēng.
- Adventures in Beijing - Part 1
- Occupation: Call and Response
- Hong Kong - The Final Frontier
- Sakura Matsuri Festival 2013
- Octopi Everywhere - Cephalopods, Seeds and Occucopters?
- Wanderings in Hong Kong - Part I