This is a very special Mirror Reflections
After 130 countries to visit my blog, China came to visit.
Something honestly I wasn’t sure could even happen with how things are regulated there.
Welcome to “Life in Russia”
Life in China
First day in China
We left Raleigh this morning right before 8am, had a brief layover in Chicago until 10:30 ish when we boarded the GIANT (seats 1000 people!) airplane to Shanghai. Thankfully, we have had no problems or complications of any kind so far on our journey. The only thing I can complain about right now is how swollen my feet are and how stiff I am from being on a plane for more than a day.
Once in the Shanghai airport, we got our luggage (nothing was lost!) and an extremely helpful man at the airport got us a taxi to our hotel. Our taxi driver knew almost no English (I only heard him say ‘hello’ and ‘look’) but he was very happy and really enjoyed pointing out the bad drivers and cool looking buildings to us on our way.
At first glance, it really didn’t feel much different than DFW. The massive highway systems, the smog on the horizon, lots of buildings… there was just that added Chinese flair. But after walking around downtown Shanghai, finding some interesting “Kungfu” dinner and Chinese Starbucks, I’m reminded more of New York City, at least in this part of China. (I am impressed, though, at how Chinese Starbucks got my unsweetened iced coffee order correct despite the broken communication when American Starbucks seem to insist I have sweetened coffee…
Life in Russia
Counting down to a new adventure
In 27 days I will be loading myself and a suitcase full of wool clothing onto the plane headed for Samara. Yes! I’m going in the winter.
I have several official CrossRoads meetings and gatherings scheduled as well as opportunities to celebrate the Winter Holidays with my Russian friends and have the experience of a Russian winter–which, is such a huge part of their culture that I feel the need to see it for myself. Even if only once.
I have heard about the huge yulka (yolka?) fir tree decorated in the main square and the ice rink that replaces the concrete plaza in winter. The ice sculptures on display. The blanket of sparkling snow that covers the city and covers all the dirt. The frozen Volga River (hard to imagine for me). And the midnight service to begin the Orthodox Christmas celebration (Jan 7). See – I get two Christmases this season. Smart of me, huh?
I might try cross-country skiing or not…