The flight from MDT to ORD was first class, so it was quite nice.  I like getting a drink before we’ve even left the ground.

Melissa and Ryan got up extra early to see me off, but I got a chance to talk to Zachary after calling Melissa from ORD before my flight to Shanghai.  I miss all of them already.

The flight to Shanghai (PVG) was long, but with business class it was bearable.  I didn’t get much sleep due to extra brain activity as well as the passenger next to me knocking my water glass onto me (and my jeans taking a few hours to dry).  But I did get to recline and rest for most of the 14.5-hourish flight, so after the flight I didn’t feel too drained.  The dry cabin air was having a field day with my nose, though.  The service the whole flight was excellent and meals were tasty.  I especially liked the salmon dish I had for lunch.

Arrived in Shanghai at 1:47PM local time today (Saturday March 13) and after a quick trip through customs I received a complimentary ride to the Marriott where I’m staying.  We were on a highway most of the time and much of what I saw was lots of multi-tenant buildings.  Two things surprised me – a lot of co-English signage and a lot of the same cars we have in the States.  Notably absent were hybrids, although there are almost no SUVs here and many fewer vans than in the US.  Popular brands are Buick and VW.  Another thing: lots of mopeds and bikers.  And many of the moped drivers act like they’re pedestrians.  There was a lot of beeping at them.

Haven’t explored too much at the hotel yet – I feel kind of silly, being a loner here until my colleagues arrive later tonight.  For now I’ll watch TV. 🙂