欢迎到上海 (Huānyíng dào Shànghǎi): Welcome to Shanghai!

The adventure has begun. I spent a few days with dear friends in Taiwan. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I left. So much has happened (recap: home for two months- seems like yesterday since that Husker game!, Indonesia for 7 months, home for 3 weeks, California for 6 weeks, Houston for 1 week, Home for 1 week)! #storyofmylife, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, though the culture shock and intense schoolwork and the unpacking and packing can make a girl go a little crazy!

this is probably one of my favorite photos ever
He loves books. and I love to read.

my cousin, my best friend.
sun and moon.

Taiwan is still the beautiful country I knew before. Lush mountains, foggy forests, clear crisp blue skies, tropical air, and smiling faces. Explored Jiufen (a seaside town) and Pingxi (know for its lantern festival). Toured night markets, went to my favorite cafe (the lady remember me), visited Neiwan (my favorite mountain village with street food). Though the jet-lag hit me hard, I had the most chill time with some of my favorite people in the entire world. They are so dear to me.

Guanxi

Jhubei

Neiwan…

still the best Tiramisu…Island Coffee
lights of Taipei

love me some Taiwan snacks.
taro, mung bean, and sweet potato balls
and ice!
Flew from Taiwan to Shanghai. Important key fact: when flying within Asia the bag-size is measured in total weight of all baggage. And Hong Kong airlines charges $10 per kg over. Any guess how much I had to pay?…$180. Ugh. I thought I checked the measurements beforehand…apparently they were only if flying to USA or Canada. Aiyaya.

Arrived to China with only a slight hour delay. A fake airport taxi tried to con me…so irritating- Do you think I’m crazy going down to the basement parking and getting into a black car with no ID sir…I may be jet-lagged and travel tired for even following you in the first place…but I’m gonna go back upstairs and stand in a real line, thank you! (Repeat Korea). So be careful, because he did have a proper airport security badge too… just stand in line. Always.

Driving into Shanghai is my favorite. City lights sparkling in the rain. Driving over city bridges. Glimmering streets lamps reflecting rain. Pure Magic. The lights are captivating enough to make any person fall in love with it. I spent the night at Ann’s house. A dear Nebraska friend a mine and fellow world traveler. Wine and salad. Drenched in the rain walk home. Balcony chats and catch ups. So happy.

Picked up by one of my school people in the morning. He drove me across town to my campus, my apartment is a converted hotel. And it comes with all the amenities including a hairdryer (how great is this?!), toaster oven, microwave, fridge/freezer (amazing!), AC, and hot water. Two rooms, a kitchen, and bathroom. It’s the coziest place. Great view of the track, trees, and city skyline…especially at sunset.
He also took me to lunch, helped me buy, set-up, and register my phone and got wifi working in my apartment. He is very kind and helpful, which I am so thankful for!

awesome light tunnel…

The first few days here in Shanghai were spent exploring with my friend Becca from school. We went to the Bund area and basically walked around all.day. Met a British guy who toured around with us. Decided to take the ferry to Pudong. Walked around the Pearl Tower area. Pudong is very commercial and business-y. To get back we took the light tunnel…a “spectacle” indeed to experience. An underwater light show through the river. Sat and watched the Bund Lights turn on…A site to see…pretty lights and I discovered the fireworks setting on my phone. Check out the photos above! We ate at Subway…real Chinese of us, I know. But we did drink Coco and tried a couple snacks throughout the day! Not to mention we went to a western place called the Blue Frog last night with some other friends for buy one get one burgers. I promise I’m all about Chinese food too! The next day we went to IKEA so I could pick up plants, towels, and sheets and took the Metro to Qibao, an ancient street of Shanghai and walked around with our friend Bre and her co-workers. We had Domino’s for supper. Serious fail to my attempt at trying Chinese food…maybe tomorrow.

And now it’s Thursday. Becca left early this morning. I had a meeting with Pan (P-ah-n), the lady who is helping me get acclimated, introducing me to colleagues, schedules, campus buildings, and general admin things to live in Shanghai. She spent last year in Pennsylvania teaching Chinese, but her English is excellent and she is very organized and super sweet. I could not have asked for a warmer welcome to this city! After the meeting I spent the afternoon cleaning my apartment, unpacking, settling in, and listening to country music…and maybe dancing around these slick floors in my socks. Perfect afternoon really. Taiwanese chicken for supper…getting closer to eating Chinese food.
It’s starting to feel so cozy and homey in here….take a look!

out the hallway window…

gotta figure out this bus sign…

from Taiwan…haha

Tomorrow I plan on meeting up with a girl who graduated from my high school a few years after me…ironic she is in SH too? I think so! It’ll be fun to meet up with another Nebraskan…and from the same area! The weekend will be spent working on school…grad school classes start up next week and there will be plenty of readings and projects to keep me busy, as well as planning for my upcoming semester teaching University students as no books are provided and it’s up to me to create the oral English, pronunciation, and public speaking curriculum! Ready go! (and if anyone has any ideas on topics I am open to suggestions!) My first class is next Wednesday…wish me luck!

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