“The trouble with travelling back later on is that you can never repeat the same experience.” -Michael Palin
Wow, these past couple of days have been crazy busy for me.
I ended last week by flying to Shanghai. What should have been a 2 hour flight turned into a 5 hour nightmare. I flew to Shanghai from a smaller city called Dalian, and through a smaller company called Spring Airlines. Since I was flying from a small city and was using a small airline, Pudong airport in Shanghai didn’t have enough landing strips to use and we were put on hold (we weren’t really a priority). My plane should have taken off at 5:45pm so I arrived at 4:15pm and went through the usual check-in and security. I boarded my plane at about 5:30pm and everything was going well. That is until the captain make an announcement- our flight was going to be delayed and they didn’t know how long it was going to be delayed for.
I sat on the plane for almost 4 hours without notice of when the plane was going to be able to take off or why we weren’t allowed to take off. It was bearable for me as I got lucky and was sitting in premium economy (it was a small plane and premium economy had extended legroom) so I wasn’t cramped in a tiny space. The people behind me however were sitting in plain old economy and were essentially confined for 4 hours.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to China, but let me just say that people are very confrontational. The people sitting in economy got antsy after about an hour and a half of waiting, and started to pace around. I totally understand, if I was cramped there I would want to get up and stretch too. However, after another hour, they started to question the captain/flight attendants about why we weren’t allowed to take off and when we would be allowed to take off. I felt pretty bad for the flight attendants/ captain because they weren’t told anything either- they were literally told just to sit tight. And because they didn’t know anything, the people on board started arguing with them and it just turned really ugly really fast. There were at least 20 people crowded in the aisle screaming at the top of their lungs and for a moment I thought they were going to riot. The poor flight attendants were trying to answer everyone’s questions in a civil manner, but they kept getting interrupted or shouted at. Eventually, people kind of just wandered back to their seats- frustrated.
Finally, at about 10pm, the captain announced that we were finally able to take off. I arrived at Shanghai at about 11:00pm and my original plan to take the subway to the airbnb I was staying at was foiled- the subway in Shanghai closed at 11. So instead I took a bus- not the smartest idea because at the bus stop there were people running around, almost harassing people, asking if they needed rides. Mind you, these people weren’t taxi drivers or anything, they were simply people with cars who wanted to make an extra buck. They terrified me with the way they were going about it.
Anyways, fast forward, I get to my stop and I get off the bus and I realize that I can’t find the address of the airbnb. At this point it was pretty much 11:45pm and it was dark outside- again it scared me. After wandering around pointlessly on the street for 10 minutes, I finally gave in and took a taxi. It turns out that the street I was wandering around on was parallel to the street where my airbnb was located.
The place I stayed at was super nice and the host, a lady named Ivy, was super sweet and understanding about my late arrival. She gave me the tour of her apartment and let me get settled.
So that’s the story of my first time in Shanghai. Not the best first impression but I enjoyed my stay there. Stay tuned for more of my rambles.
All the best.