China Rule #1: Always have a back up plan
May 27, 2011
My biggest concern in traveling alone to China was the first step- getting from the airport to the apartment that I have supposedly rented. In all the chaos of packing and traveling, I managed to leave home with two contacts in shanghai: my future landlord and a friend of a friend of my mom.
I got through customs without a hitch, and even managed to understand a little bit of conversation between a boy coming back from his trip in the U.S (proudly sporting a tshirt titled “maurice the 1/4 pound burger” )and his mother. Feeling pretty confident at this point that finding and settling down in my apartment would go smoothly, I hopped into a cab and gave him the number of my potential landlord.
And this is when things fall apart.
The landlord’s phone was conveniently out of battery, so I had to come up with a new plan. Through broken chinese and profuse apologizing I explained to the cab driver that I needed to borrow his phone, and so I contacted the only other person in Shanghai. I am going to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Nordlinger, her friend Breaux Walker, and his friend Hunter for solving my first legitimate crisis. Mr. Walker connected me with his friend in Shanghai Hunter, who has been kind enough to let me stay in his home for the night and has been incredibly accommodating. Also thank you his daughter angela for letting me sleep in her room.
And so the #shanghaistruggles of my great Shanghai adventure officially begin.