We took off this morning around 6 am Texas time and had a two and a half hour flight to Chicago. It was your average domestic flight, cramped and crowded.
At 10:40 AM we took off from Chicago on the long 14.5-hour flight to Shanghai. I was expecting it to be cramped, crowded and generally unpleasant. Fortunately, it was a rather pleasant flight. Due to the earths curvature it is a shorter distance to fly up to the North Pole and around thru Russia than it is to fly straight across the Pacific. The North Pole looks like a whole lot of ice, but then what did I expect? Tim Allen?
There were free movies on this flight on your own personal monitor and you could pick which one you wanted to watch within their selection. I watched two. The first was Bedtime Stories, which was typical mindless drivel that comes out of Hollywood but was good for a few laughs. The second was Valkyrie, which was the last assassination attempt against Hitler. I enjoyed this one a lot more. I also am reading Jeff Sharra’s novel “Gone for Soldiers” about the Mexican-American war.
We finally touched down around 1:30 China time. We cleared customs and found our driver no problem.
The first thing you notice when you leave the airport are the fields. There are buildings that are between three and five stories tall that people presumably live in and have their field right outside. This runs on for almost the whole two-hour drive from Shanghai to Hangzhou (which we found out is pronounced hong-JOE).
Traffic is crazy here. It seems as if the majority of vehicles fall into one of three classes: the big dump/delivery trucks, the vans, and the motorcycles. A lot of the motorcycles have been converted into three wheel rickshaws and they zip right along in them.
We got to our hotel around 5 pm local time and are now all set up and waiting to meet our case worker who called and said she’d come by.
Thanks for all your prayers!
Posted from Hangzhou on 4/7/09 at 6:49 PM China time