Monday, December 3, 2012
After 24 hours, 3 plane rides, and 4 questionable airplane meals, we have arrived in Suzhou, China!
We started out our trip by leaving at 4am for Detroit Metro Airport. Everything went smoothly through security with the minor exception of TSA asking us who the man taking photos of the security lines was ... Mr. Murdock! Hahaha. The first plane ride was from Detroit to Denver, three hours during which Tommy and I mostly slept. The second plane ride was two hours from Denver to Los Angeles. This was less fun. The exceptionally old man behind me kept spastically kicking my seat every fifteen minutes and I was afraid to say anything for fear of giving him a heart attack.
Our final ride was from Los Angeles to Shanghai. LAX was the least fun of the trip. The airport terminal was beyond confusing and of the two workers we asked, neither could help us figure out where our terminal was. This ended in us having to leave the airport terminal 6 so that we could enter terminal 4, thus going through security again. After that, things improved. We were on a huge plane for Shanghai, luckily we had two seats separate from the 6 seat middle section. The 14 hours was very very long and the food was questionable, but edible. The movie selection was poor at best and thus I spent most of my time watching the person diagonal from me watch various movies (Kung Fu Panada 1 &2, Bourne Legacy, cartoon X-Men, etc - his taste was eclectic) and draw impressive Pokemon-esque creatures. Tommy decided to be adventurous with the plane food, opting to try the shrimp thing (as seen in the picture at the end of this post). In his words, "It was sick." I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the other food we encounter is better. We have yet to eat a meal here.
At 8pm we landed in Shanghai. Our contact was there with a driver to meet us after we went through customs. They drove us around Shanghai first to give us an impression of the city. I was carsick and therefore had my eyes closed, but Tommy assures me it was all very beautiful and impressive. The drive to Suzhou was about 2 and half hours due to our Shanghai detour.
Our apartment is very nice! We have two bedrooms, a large sitting room, a kitchen, dining area, tiny laundry space, and a bathroom. The shower is the only thing that is totally shady. It is a drain in the floor about two inches from the toilet. I will try to get a picture of it uploaded.
The strangest thing is the room lights. They are a weird intense white light that seems to tint everything almost slightly purple. That will take some getting used to. Our building is very nice though, we have many windows, a window seat in each of our bedrooms, and a balcony. The view from the balcony is beautiful! There is a courtyard with trees, paths, and presumably a fountain type thing when it isn't winter.
Today our contacts are taking us to get bank cards, sim cards, and to show us around our schools. It's setting up to be another busy but exciting day!
Posted by Michelle H at 8:03 PM