Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ni Hao Ma!

I'm in Shanghai. So much to tell after only one day!

I was waiting for my half past noon flight to Shanghai and it's only 10am. So I do what I love best, parked myself on a seat, jammed my earphones on and lost myself in a book. I wanted to relax because I knew I was going to be stressed out when I arrived. As soon as I land, I had to change into Corporate clothes and heels and go straight to the Chinese New Year dinner.

Fifteen minutes after the airline meal, the woman beside me got up to go to the rest room and promptly spilled her ice water on me. Grrrrr! The right side of my clothes was drenched and she didn't even bother to go get some tissues for me to wipe with! Horrible woman! She must have felt the bad vibes from me because she didn't come back to her seat for the remainder of the flight.

The plane landed and I got off to find a thick fog, a whole lot of grayness, and a freezing wind. Great. This after being told it was not that cold (15 - 20 degrees) and not to bother with thermals. I was one of the first to get off the plane so I breezed through immigration, got my suitcase and trundled off to the rest room to change.

Thirty minutes later, I was looking for my name on the placards being displayed by the drivers. It was only 4:30 and the driver was supposed to meet me before five so I was congratulating myself on being early when I spied the driver and saw one of the members of the Executive Committee (an expat) behind him. He and his son were on the same flight and I realized I made them wait for half an hour. Whoops.

Off to the car we went. After one instance of almost landing on my butt because of my four inch heels and twenty minutes of waiting at the curb in the freezing wind, we learned we had to walk to the parking area as the road was blocked and the driver couldn't get through to pick us up. So I lugged my suitcase, laptop case, big purse and a plastic shopping bag of dried mangoes down two flights of stairs (the guy I was with had four pieces of big suitcases!) and we were (finally!) on our way.

It was a fancy dinner party (and I was glad I changed out of my sneakers) and I got to sit at the VIP table with the owners (who were sooooo nice!). We were introduced one by one to everybody in the ballroom and you had to stand and wave a little when they called your name. Whee! Just like a famous or important person. :D

We were all given individual gifts and it was while my head was down stuffing the gift in my bag that my seat mate called my attention. When I looked up, everybody was holding their wine glasses up for a toast and waiting for me. Whoops. Again.

Is the day never going to end???

The 14 course dinner mercifully ended, the table rounds toasting everybody finished (you have to avoid clinking your glass against another if you don't want to do a bottoms up every single time). I finally staggered into my room at 10.

I think I want to go home now.


Homo Escapeons said...

That horrible woman is probably still running!
You are having a fancy schmancy adventure...oh well atleast I can read about yours.

Aidan said...

I havnt been to china in about 8 years, and i only got to see bejing:( Still an amazing place, Your heading has totaly exhausted all the mandarin that i know:)

Sound like a great night out in an exotic location. With the exception of the water woman, hey maybe see went through that tiny hole

Keshi said...

Shanghai wow!

D ya want me to hunt for the Water woman? I have a powerful torch hehe.


Menchie said...

If looks could kill...

I've never been to Beijing and I heard it's really beautiful. A lot has probably changed since the last time you visited. Such a contrast between the modern skyrises and old buildings. It never fails to amaze me.

Will ya?? Please???!!!!!

Ces said...

Menchie, your fancy and exciting adventure is all a blur to me because I am stuck on the 4-inch heels - WHAT were you THINKING!

What a hoot. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Menchie said...

I know, I know. But, I didn't know we were going to walk to the parking lot! I thought I just had to go out, get in the car and get out at the hotel. And the dress I was wearing called for high heels. Oh well. My vanity will kill me one of these days. :D

Caroline said...

Shanghai - wow!!!!
Do you have a Shanghai pen?
You are so cool my dear. So cool.

Menchie said...

You got me thinking. I don't think I've seen a Shanghai pen!

I'm a klutz...not cool at all...but I have pretty shoes. :D

Ms. Val said...

Aside from hauling your bags all the way to the parking area and that dreadful water woman, your trip sounds exciting. I hope it's not all work and no play and that you get some down time.

kj said...

mench, i hope you get to explore. i would love to be where you are!

4 inch heels? why? this sounds like torture, given your travel needs.

i hope all goes well and you have a good time. it is sooo fun to read about it.


Within Without said...

Yeah, Menchie, I don't even get how you could WALK in four-inch heels!

But it sounds fascinating, this trip you're on. Thanks for bringing us along!

I'd love to travel to that part of the world...keep us up to speed!

Watch out now...just like in the movies, that woman who spilled water on you might turn out to be the head of that giant corporation you're there to clink glasses with...

Maria said...

oh mench! your ability to laugh at yourself is always so adorable!

1. you're in Shanghi.
2. you get to wave like Ms. U
3. you ate a 14 course meal, and I bet didn't even gain weight.


Marie said...

Thanks for telling us about your trip, Menchie. It sounds fun, even though you had to put up with that dreadful woman! As for four inch heels - I can just about manage three inch without falling over! I don't think I've ever worn anything higher than that. How do you do it?

Steven Novak said...

14 COURSES!?!?!?!?!

You're more food than human after a meal like that. ;)


Dan said...

I think I want to go home now.

Yeah, no kidding! Just make sure you don't sit next to that stupid woman on the flight back! :)

Menchie said...

Ms. Val,
Oh I made sure it wasn't all work! Got Friday night free and the whole of Saturday! :D

this time round, I ditched the car and driver and did Shanghai like a local. Took the Metro and mostly walked everywhere! But not in the four inch heels...

Well, it's easy to walk if you're doing it on a carpeted walkway. Not on slippery airports...wasn't one of my smartest moves. I've been to Shanghai a couple of times before but this trip was, well, eventful. To say the least.

OMG! Roy and I and another friend had a blast last night! We got a little drunk on the Bund. Tell you more later!

It was such a fun trip! As for my heels, I'm comfortable with 3 inches. Four inches are a challenge but I don't wear them often. Only once in a while when the outfit calls for it. Sigh! I'm afraid I'm much too vain for my own good.

We did it for lunch too. Nobody even batted an eye.

Can you believe we were on the same flight again??!!! Good thing we sat on different rows or I would've had a little "accident" and dumped my food on her lap.