**Sorry this has taken me SO long! Here is the first part of my summer vacation story! I have so much to tell you!*
“Thank you for flying China Eastern. Welcome to Shanghai.” These were the first words I heard after leaving South Korea for my first vacation. My excitement had been building since boarding the bus to Gimhae Airport and by the time the cabin doors opened in Shanghai I thought I would implode. The flight itself was short, less than 2 hours, and pretty comfortable. I even had an extra seat! When I landed I walked off the plane and noticed how huge the airport was but it was easy to navigate with the signs.
A friend of a friend met me with a smile and a piece of paper with my name on it outside the terminal. We said our hellos and nice-to-meet-yous then immediately caught the 2 hour train to the Bund, the waterfront area of central Shanghai.
The start of the Bund
We finally arrived at the Bund, which I expected to be virtually empty for some reason, but it was congested with people. Families sitting and chatting, couples canoodling, kids dropping their ice cream and tourists taking photos. I immediately became one of those tourists, waiting in line for a spot on the rail to snap evidence of my presence there. I was completely hypnotized by the energy, lights, and sounds of a city alive at night. The skyline looked like something out of The Fifth Element with bulbous buildings and triangle rooftops. Shanghai had the feel of London, NYC, and a little Sevilla all in one. I just stared up taking it all in. I remembered how much I missed home.
View of the skyline at the Bund
My friend and I walked the stretch of the Bund for what seemed like seconds but was really about 40 minutes. The whole time I don’t remember looking down to see where I was going or make sure I didn’t hit anyone, just up at the sky, the people, and the lights. We saw a group of skateboarders doing tricks in front of a small crowd. I stopped to enjoy the show for a few minutes. One of the boarders missed his ollie and ate it on the brick pavement. He got up and dusted himself off as the crowd let out a synchronized “ooh”.
After wandering around Shanghai in the middle of the night for 3 hours, literally, we decided to call it quits and catch a cab. Catching a cab was very difficult and annoying! People had no taxi etiquette and just jumped in a cab that we hailed. Then, if we did manage to snake one of the cars, many refused to take us where we asked. Needless to say it took us a while to get one.
A little London looking
Finally, after 20 minutes of standing in the streets with our arms out, we were off. My friend was dropped at her house and I made my way back to the airport alone to catch my flight to Cambodia. Even though I only stayed for a few hours, Shanghai left its mark.
Me and 史肖蕾 selfie!
————Stay tuned for Part 2 about Cambodia!