Skateboard and trailer boxed up. Left Kirk and Donna’s place in a mess. Thanks guys, you are legendary. Awesome.
On the plane.
At the beginning of the flight, I looked at the screen at the front of the plane. 10,500km to Shanghai. “Whoa!” I thought. “That’s going to take months and months.” Human-powered mentality dies hard.
Woke up 10 hours later and we were almost there. About 10,000 barrels of oil later. The marvels of air travel. Such glorious indulgence.
I arrived in Shanghai at 9am two days later. Crossed the dateline, you see. All rather confusing.
I arrived to the splendid chaos of China. I gave up on carrying the boxed skateboard and trailer and luggage, so unpacked in the subway.
The rubbish bin was small. Far too small to hold the large box and all the packing material. No worries though. In seconds, two super efficient cleaners were hovering around me to take away the stuff I didn’t need. Lovely cheap and bountiful labour. Welcome to China.
The plan for the next week is to hang out at Marija Kozin’s (from www.marijakozin.com fame) place until I get my visa extension sorted out. Marija, from Slovenia, is here in Shanghai after a mammoth two years cycling from Slovenia to China and half way back to Slovenia and doing the Trans-Siberian railway and flying back to Slovenia and co-founding an environmental awareness non-profit organisation and changing the way the Chinese think about their enviroment…bit of legend.
It was wet outside when I finally got everything together and got out of the subway. Skyscrapers towered above me, the tops of them fading into the smoggy gloom. A light rain had wet the roads, creating a thin film of black, sooty sludge on the road surface. I could almost have kissed the fenders Longboard Larry had whacked together at short notice for the longboard. Without them I would have been covered in black gunk, flicked up from the wheels of the skateboard.
Despite the dirty wet roads, I was ecstatic. No more massive, fast moving SUVs and narrow shoulders. Once in the steady flow of bicycles and electric mo-peds, progress was easy and fun. Pedestrians, taxis, cyclists, traffic wardens and motorcyclists alike gawked and gave me the thumbs up as I glided past pulling all my gear behind me, my gear safely coccooned in a layer of PVC and canvas drybag goodness. Lashed tightly to the trailer with nylon straps, the trailer and gear held on tightly as I weaved in and out of the slower moving cyclists.
I got to Marija’s apartment, with the help of her workmates from GECKO, at around 4pm. By 5pm I was out to it. Slept till 7am the next morning.