I am back in the states now and Chinese New Year is over. A couple of days after getting back I have adjusted to the time zone change completely. Just like the last time I went to China I used my staying up method to alter my internal clock. There were a few differences in the journey over there this time. First off, I took fewer clothes, but with winter packing made the bags weigh the same.
I parked in a lot south of O’Hare and took their shuttle into the international terminal. This is better in a few ways, one the first few lots were full, second the satellite lots are open and it is Chicago… do not want to return to find my car had been robbed or vandalized. The flight was pretty much the same, but Shanghai is closer the Hong Kong, so it was an hour shorter. This time the North Pole was dark, so I was not able to get any pictures of the polar cap or glaciers. The new camera I got, a Cannon SureShot A620, worked pretty well, for video and pictures. So I took more in-flight pictures (Siberia, Mongolia, and China). Clearing customs in Shanghai was not as smooth as it was in Hong Kong, but went well along with luggage pickup. I found Coco waiting as soon as I cleared customs and we went off to the new apartment. She was very beautiful in a full length black wool coat and scarf. She was very excieted to see me, and I was very very excieted to see her. She ran up and hugged me very tight, which was the best feeling in the world. We kissed and hugged and just stood there and took in the moment. The had found the nicest taxi in Shanghai to pick me up in, a Mercades with full leather interior and very smooth suspension. We cought up on things on the way back to her apartment and I was still amazed at how beautiful she was. It was so nice to be back by her side.
The apartment is about the same size as mine here in Milwaukee, but distinct rooms not a studio. Even though it was small it was cozy and excellently decorated. The apartment is on the 23rd floor so the view is pretty good. I was impressed at how quiet the apartment was. Having arrived on Thursday evening everyone was getting ready for the last work day before the New Year break. The evening was already planned out, I tried on the suit Coco had gotten for me for my interview the following morning. The pants needed to be re-hemmed and the jacket was a little over sized but the wool overcoat fit perfect. We called for another cab and made it to the mall. We had the pants re-measured and sent to the seamstress and exchanged the jacket for one with a better fit… long arms and slender waste never help with my getting good fitting clothes.
Picking up the pants from the seamstress’s was an exercise in patience all its own. Chaos does not begin to explain the scene. There were maybe 15 women there picking up or dropping off clothes to get altered. It was late, close to closing time so there was a little more urgency to get things done quickly. There was no line or real way to get the pants and order dropped off without getting in shoulder to shoulder with old women speaking so fast the head seamstress had problems understanding them. We were able, Coco actually, to get the order in and the pick up time, just before everything closed up for the evening. We wasted some time by browsing the mall, that was packed and very cold (all the employees wore thick jackets. We retrieved the pants, had one last fitting at the store and then headed to a very nice restaurant where Coco and her co-workers usually go for lunch. The food was good and the service ok, but there was an argument between a table of patrons and the staff when they refused to pay for their meal because they did not like the quality of the food… it got heated for a minute or two, but after dinner we left and went back home.