Saturday, May 2, 2009

Exhaustion in Shanghai

Well the first full day of China and Shanghai, so naturally we are all exhausted from walking everywhere and jet lag. The city doesn't interest me too much yet. I mean, it is cool, but there is nothing really that distinguishes it from other large Asian cities. Aint no Tokyo, that's for sure. It's cool, but nothing unique so far. The rural areas will be great I am sure. We went to a garden and a temple. Pretty much the standard sights of an Asian city. I wish we could just be released to go do what we want and then meet back up later. We would all end up with better and more unique shots, instead of all of us having slightly different angles of the exact same subject.

The good news of the day is that before coming here I wanted to buy a new tripod. The one I wanted to buy was a Chinese brand, so I was thinking I could get it cheaper here, but in doing so I would run the risk of getting over here without a tripod at all and possibly not finding one. The tripod was $475 at home, and I found the exact same model today for $265. I lucked out and the waiting worked in my favor. It's a sweet carbon-fiber tripod.

Friday, May 1, 2009


OK, So one of my professors from school received a grant to go to China for a month, and that grant also pays for four students to go. I am one of them and we are finally here in Shanghai. We are at a very nice hotel that normally we couldn't afford, but the photographer/translator that is with us, John Wayne, or as I will call him from now on, JW (J-dub), has a hook up here and got us a good rate. John's real name and spelling are totally different, but it sounds like John Wayne, just like on Shanghai noon. Really. So my professor, John Telford, and his wife Valerie are here. Then myself plus Shad, Lucy, and Jessica. Good times so far. We were served a very nice meal, complements of the hotel hookup, in our own private room. The picture you see is Chinese broccoli, Quail egg, and Sea Cucumber. That was basically just a huge roll of fat. Imagine if you were to take a cross-section of an aorta from a 30-foot tall extremely obese man whose arteries were completely clogged...that is what I imagine the Sea Cucumber being. The taste was ok, the texture was not that ok. It was fine though.
I am looking forward to this trip. We are headed out into the villages in the middle of the country next week and we are really going to see a huge variety of this country.