Travel Notes: Welcome to Shanghai
We arrived in Shanghai around 10:30am on Saturday, April 23rd. When we exited the train, we followed the hoardes of people up the stairs and toward the exit. We looked around for a bank or money exchange window to change money at with no luck. We finally stopped at a map of the station to try and find somewhere… still no luck, when another foreigner walks up in tow of a local Chinese man. We asked him if he knew where we could change money and he asked his Chinese friend – no one knew where there was something nearby. Turns out these 2 had been on the same train, and had only just met on the train. The Chinese man had to go, but the other, Daniel, offered to help us try to find something and if not, he had Chinese Yuan’s and would get us on the train! We just had to follow him to try & buy a different train ticket for his next trip in a few days. We wandered around the station together then and none of us had any luck…
our new friend Daniel
It was during our wandering that I required a bathroom… well, it was my first real experience with a non-western toilet and… well, ‘squatty-potty’ AKA the hole in the floor was …different. Hopefully will not have to do that again!
I had a map of the Shanghai subway with me and we looked at it, realizing we needed to take the same train. Daniel offered to exchange the remaining Hong Kong dollars we had with some Chinese Yuan and we happily agreed. The 3 of us then headed for the subway. While we were wandering and on the subway, we talked and found out Daniel was couch surfing around Shanghai & a city near Beijing next, and he was from Idaho. We all exchanged mobile numbers and agreed to meet up after we dropped our things off since none of us had a real plan as to what to do when we got into the city.