Quick update -
I’m out of Shanghai! I hopped on a plane this morning with 3 of my coworkers (Chinese/Taiwanese) and headed off to Qingdao for a quick 3 day vacation. Today a national holiday – the dragon boat festival – so we have a three day weekend and I don’t have Chinese classes. It was just over an hour flight to Qingdao and it seems we have entered another world.
It was raining in Shanghai when we left this morning, so we were hoping for a little better weather in Qingdao. The weather when we landed – well, about what you would expect from the Oregon coast in June. Foggy, windy and cool. But oh, the air… it is so clean! It smells of the sea, the fog and the trees lining the streets. We dressed for summer and put off walking along the beach because it was a bit chilly.
It certainly isn’t Shanghai though! That was apparent by the cheaper prices, the air, the lack of tall buildings and the quietness of the streets. I left the hotel this evening to pick something up to drink – not only did I have to walk about 5 minutes before I found a store that had any sign of life, I actually almost gave up finding a convenient store. The streets were absolutely dead, no signs of life, the only noises were the leaves blowing in the wind, a newspaper blowing down the street and an very occasional car. Ahh… small town life, you know – the small town of just 8 million or so.
Anyways… it is midnight, we are getting up at 7am to go to Laoshan (a nearby mountain and scenic area) and I’m exhausted… more later.