Eric has sent me two emails of he and Alison’s trip to China. Looks like there might be more coming, so I started a pictorial journal on rectorsite. I’ll add each new installment at the end of this post, so check back regularly.
September 15, 2009 9:21:00 AM PDT
Here, beside the Richard Serra (withOUT the fuzzy red finish, though) slabs, we are about to leap over to Asia…at 3am EDT you can imagine that we are having our first impressions of China (perhaps getting detained for smuggling cheese?).
September 16, 2009 7:33:34 AM PDT
Yes, in fact, we did fly over the arctic ocean, entering just north of Hudson Bay, and exiting well into Siberia (see photos). The Canadian tundra and Siberian tundra looked identical, and in between — despite global warming — there was an ice sheet, although there were cracks everywhere we flew (when the view was not obscured by clouds). And the sun never set on us.
But it was a LONG ASS flight. When I finally said to myself, “This is a *really* long flight…” we had three more hours to go. I must say, however, that Air Canada made it as comfy as possible in coach in a newish Boeing 777 — three full meals that were actually tasty (and all included a packet of hot sauce and a packet of soy sauce) including the Cup O’ Noodles for breakfast; reasonably spaced seats that reclined enough to keep your head back as you snoozed; and an on-demand entertainment system that allowed us to watch The Hangover, Star Trek, Anvil: The Story of Anvil, and the Pool (plus assorted award-winning Canadian short films, American TV shows, and endless promotions for the Air Canada Duty Free Shopping).
Our first impressions of Shanghai included a young woman who escorted us to a car service waiting for us who knew JUST enough English to pleasantly escort us from the arrivals area to the car pick-up, but when we tried to extend the conversation with, for example, “How is the weather in September?” She had no idea how to respond. But she delivered us to our waiting car, and the car delivered us to the doorstep of an awesome Craigs List apartment in the heart of the “West Village” of Shanghai (complete with Sephora and every other international “luxury brand” boutique).