Well, I made it safely to China. I thought customs would be difficult, filled with endless interrogations and difficulty (shows how little I know), but it ended up being pretty anti-climactic… In fact, I was grilled more upon returning to the USA from Italy last summer then entering big, scary China.
So far the people have been awesome, friendly and outgoing, ready to lend a hand whenever needed. The food has already blown me away and I have only been here a couple of days. It makes me excited to think that I get to sample some of China’s finest over the next month. I am going to explore in and around Shanghai this week, heading up to Beijing for a few days next, then its on down the coast to Vietnam.
Last night we decided to head over to the Bund to get some night photos of the Shanghai Skyline. The perfectionist that I am, I needed to get the buildings situated just right, so we proceeded to walk and extra hour to find a better spot. The problem was, the public walkway ended and we ran out of space. We walked on the parallel road for a bit before we found a little Starbucks overlook. It would have been perfect but there was a big, ugly Chinese Pilot Boat sitting in most of the scene, with two barriers blocking any way on to the pier. Well, I decided to play the dumb photographer and hopped the first barrier and moved the other out of the way. Once I got to the water’s edge and began to set up my tripod, a cop started yelling at me furiously in Chinese, walking towards me with his hand over his holstered gun. I tried to smile and ask if I could just snap some photos but he wasn’t having any of it. It was at that point that I thought, screw the photos, I don’t want to get shot in my first 24 hours in China…
I ended up getting out of there as fast as humanly possible. We then decided to head back to the Bund and photograph there for a while. The low hanging clouds provided some beautiful ambiance for the skyline shots and pollution was at a minimum. An awesome dinner with Benji (my gracious host) and his girlfriend followed.
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