Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Good morning to you East Coasters!
It's 8:11 pm here in Shanghai. We arrived yesterday on a wonderful United Flight. Business Class is THE way to travel. Every seat was taken by the way. The food, the champagne, the wine - a lovely Savignon Blanc. I can get used to this. . .
Rita, one of the flight attendants is from Chicago. She was wonderful. She brought me this lovely little Louis Vuitton business card holder that had maybe 35-50 business cards from vendors at the silk/cashmere/wool markets, flower markets, pearl markets. DVD's and CD's - restaurants. She was amazing. She gave lots of great tips. She takes this flight once a month and stays for 2 days. Buys what she needs and gets back to work and goes home for a week. Very interesting woman. I'm so glad I got to meet her. I told her about my interest to work once I get here and get settled - she thinks I should start my own business and sell jewelry - we'll just have to see about that.
Our flight was about 35 minutes early. You arrive and go through Immigration and then down into the hall with the luggage carousels. It took forever to get our bags - we were the first on the plane and the last luggage to come off. I thought USAir was bad. We were told to look for our driver who would be on the other side of the secure zone with a Westinghouse sign. He wasn't there. Everyone else was - PPG, Novatel, Siemens, no Westinghouse. Here, because we were early, he wasn't there yet - we had to wait for him. He was a fabulous driver - Chen Chen was his name and he got us safely to the Renaissance Yangtze. Mike's boss, John was there to greet us, waiting in the bar. We took a shower and went downstairs for dinner. We went to a restaurant with most of the procurement group. Even Maisie, the admin was there and it was a good thing. She is so valuable. She speaks Mandarin and English and translated the entire menu because the service staff at the Wang Steak house didn't speak English much at all. Very interesting foods. I'll upload some photos shortly.
This morning we had our government physicals. UPMC can take a lesson from these people. It took 30 minutes for the entire thing - Bloodwork, chest x-ray - eye exam, EKG, sonagram (the woman was brutal, she told me I have gallbladder problems so I must get that fixed before I leave Pittsburgh.
We came back to the hotel for a lovely breakfast on the Club Floor - omelet, French crossant, juice and coffee. Then took a walk to find a nail salon. We found one - they don't do acryllic nails and no one spoke English there. So we left.
Ashlee Lee came to show us the city at 1 pm. Lovely young woman, 25 years old, grew up here and her father made her take English classes - she speaks with a lovely clipped British accent. She took us to the hospital, two international grocery stores and will show us more on Friday.
Our friend, Kirk Allan checked into the hotel this afternoon. He will start his new job here tomorrow - without Denise, his lovely wife. She will come in June or July. Probably around the time I get there. . . if the house sells.
Well, I'm tired and want to post this for all to see.
Good day to you!