Monday, September 14, 2009

China - Day 1 and Day 2

I've finally gotten around to downloading my pictures from our trip to China! It only took about a month but I guess better late than never. So here it goes.

Day 1 - Arrive in Shanghai
After a day delay in San Francisco (we literally missed the plane by 5 minutes. It was like a bad TV commercial when you see the doors close and you're yelling to them to hold the plane. Well, it didn't work but we had a great afternoon/night in San Francisco) we arrived in Shanghai at 4:00 pm (Shanghai is 14 hours ahead of us (in the Mountain Time Zone), so you lose a day when flying over). My brother, mom, dad, and Mr. Jung (my brother's driver) met us at the airport. J was so excited to see my brother that he ran right to him rather than my parents! They thought it was cute so their feelings weren't hurt too bad. You read the previous sentence correctly, my brother has a driver! The reason being is that most, if not all, Ex-Pat's companies do not want their employees driving for liability issues.

If you've ever been to Shanghai or any other city in China, you wouldn't want to drive either if you could. The best analogy would be schools of fish. Have you ever watched a nature show and watch multiple schools of fish weaving in and out of each other but they never seem to bump into each other? Well, that is what driving is like in Shanghai. Drivers do not stay within the lines and if there is the littlest open space they will take it. It was quite stressful the first few times in the car but after a while you realize that there aren't any car crashes so you just learn to sit back and "try" to relax.

That night we hung out at my brother and sister-in-law's house while all the cousins got re-aquainted. The next morning we went to the fabric market. This is the neatest place! It's a 3-story market where there are vendors after vendors that sew clothes just for you, just your size. T (my brother) took B to a vendor that makes custom suits and then another place for fitted dress shirts. I went to a vendor that made a couple of dresses (Ann Taylor-ish) and a vendor that made a wrap coat. Now, here is the best part. Not only are the clothes custom made for you (they take all your measurements and sew to those) they are extremely in-expensive. B's suit cost $75, his shirts cost $13 each, my dresses were $45 each, and my custom cashmere mid-calf wrap coat was only $100! All the vendors took our measurements and we would come back a few days later to try them on and have alterations if needed.

After the fabric market we went back to the house to get ready to leave for the airport. Yes, were getting on another plane in less than 24 hours! We were on our way to Xian which is about 2 1/2 hours away to see the Terra Cotta Soldiers. More about that tomorrow!

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