Tuesday, September 4, 2007

To Shanghai and Back!

Today it was necessary to go to Shanghai and get a document that shows our family relationship - that our kids are ours, Sue and I are married etc.  It was such a joke - I wrote on a piece of blank letterhead that Sue and I are married, and that Peter, Jack and Sophie were our kids.  The US Consulate charged me about $30 US, put their stamp on it, and that was that!  I could have said I believe in Santa Claus, and they would have made it official!

The trains were incredibly clean and efficient!  My ticket said 7:40am, and as soon as the clock struck 7:40, the train started rolling!  Nice! I met a nice Japanese guy who spoke English and Chinese so we talked during our ride - his company writes software to train Chinese people how to program computers!


Next it was off to the Foreign bookstore to find some teaching resources for our upcoming teaching.  Out of 10 books we wanted, they only had 4; but it was better than nothing!  Then I stopped and had a fabulous massage - you know what they say, when in Shanghai...

This was a back alley way behind the bookstore, showing perhaps an older version of China.

Shanghai 003 

... and here is the New China, a bright clean Shanghai South train station.

Shanghai 004 

Then it was onto the 4:40 train back to Hangzhou.  Somehow I wound up in first class - oh well, it was only $1.50 US extra!

Shanghai 005

To drive between Hangzhou and Shanghai takes about 2 1/2 hours.  By contrast, the train ride took 1 hour and 15 minutes. The train topped out at about 105 MPH, but I understand it can go over 200 MPH. Very  smooth ride.  Not sure if it's MAGLEV or not.

It was interesting waiting in the train station in Shanghai.  I met a Tibetan guy, a Chinese guy, and 3 French University students who I sat with while we waited to board.  I was marveling at where else could I sit and have a conversation with these people, in English, French and Chinese!  The Tibetan wants to go back to Tibet when he is done with University and become a tour guide for Westerners.  I bet he will be good at it!

The Kids

The boys had a good day at school today; Peter made a friend who bought him a Coke today.  He also forgot his chopsticks for lunch so Sue ran them back to him and the Chinese kids fought over who could give them to Peter!  Peter was the best player in Ping Pong in PE today, and the Chinese kids all chanted, "Peter... Peter... Peter!!"

Jack had to sing in front of everyone in Music today, and so he sang "Jingle Bells".  The Chinese kids loved it! 

For Randy:  Peter rated his school day a 5, and Jack rated his a 7.

On Sophie's 2nd day of school, she came home with a red star on her forehead.  We thought; is she the newest communist?  Don't worry! Turns out she actually slept during nap today, and that was her reward!


Anonymous said...

Hey there- I'm glad you made your family official! We are on the countdown to Lucy's arrival. She may be here as early as this weekend. Julia is beyond excited!! Well done at Ping Pong today Peter!! Go get em... Love the Mahers

Anonymous said...

I think our country-USA should
invest in a nice rail system
like China and Europe has and
get some of the cars off the
road. Mary