Thursday, May 07, 2015

Yes, China ....

Well, that was an eventful week.  I travelled to the future and then came back to the past. I completed my only goal of the trip.

Things that I learned on my trip:

The Maglev train is only "fast"

Yes, only "fast".  I say that because if you want to go super fast, you need to ride the train from 1500h to 1545h where you go 468 kph.  The maximum speed is 300 kph after 1545h. But looking at the video now, I "guess" it seems really fast.


Typically, I like to stick to food I'm comfortable with. But I decided to try different foods (kinda like here where I attempt to eat the vegan dish in the caf) ... up to a point.  I had some dim sum, pig's feet and some dumplings.  The dim sum was really good. I should have gotten 6 of them instead of the pig's feet.  That was less good. The pot stickers (or dumplings) were meh ... Yes, I've never had dim sum ... pot stickers (I've only had them Japanese style - Gyoza).


At least there was fast-food. Check out the 'McNugget meal.' But no 6-pack nuggets - but 5-packs!? I wonder if they would ever sell the 50 McNuggets for $10 (or the 20 McNuggets for $5 deal).

Public Transit
The subway system in Shanghai seems super safe.  Pushing people on the tracks is not possible since there is little wall thingy.  Also, there are x-ray machines you need to put your stuff through every time you enter a station. Driving in Shanghai is super scary, road lines are 'optional' and sometimes red lights are 'optional' too. Remember, cars and buses are bigger then you, so they pretty much have right of way.

Just Excessive 
There are some REALLY tall buildings in Shanghai.  I had no idea. Plus the stores are crazy. The Apple Store features the world biggest "curved glass" and the Louis Vuitton store sort of just speaks for itself.  I couldn't find a cheesy souvenir store it was all brand names, all of the time. I did get to go to an "antique" street with some merchants and tried my hand at bargaining - bring out them calculators!

Mayweather - Pacquaio
Even in China was I was able to catch Mayweather - Paciquiao I (maybe there will a II - Mayweahter did not outright reject a rematch).  I went to a sports bar called the Camel and there was NO cover!  It ended up being a fight I had expected to see, not the fight I was hoping to see.  I wanted to see a really offensive aggressive fight. Too bad it turned into your typical Mayweather match. Next up for Mayweather is probably my boy Amir Khan (unless he loses to Chris Algieri).  As for Pacquiao, well, surgery for one and then I believe 6 - 8 month recovery period.

After a week of anticipation, the Dreamliner was not as awesome as I expected. It was only 1-level. The windows do not have any little blind thingys.  There is a button that dims the window, but it does not dim the window completely. Its made of carbon and what not, but that is sort of underwhelming.  Apparently, I should have found a flight that uses the A380 plane instead - that thing is massive.

Other details of note:

  • The Internet in China is slow - also try living without Google if your carrier/hotel isn't 'sneaky'
  • Apple Maps is better then Google Maps - it didn't put me in the middle of the river while trying to find my hotel (and considering it was the first time in the country, a good maps program is important).  I'm going to say that it was Matt P.'s doing.  Thanks Matt!
  • Los Angeles (LAX) airport is one of the worse airports I've been to. It seems like I've been to a lot of them.  Normally there are those "Departures" screen thingy-doodles all over the place; but I didn't see one until I was literally at my gate. The airport is 8-ish terminals big.  I wasn't sure when I went through security if I had to leave and re-go through security again to get to my gate.
It was a good trip.  I learned a lot and got a lot of work done. That was the purpose of the trip (that and going on the Maglev train). Maybe I'll get to go some where more awesome next time - where there are some cheesy souvenir shops