Touchdown in China

by Natalie

I arrived in Shanghai on 8/1/2016 at 8.30am where I was met by my boss and another member off staff who were to drive me to a hotel they’d booked in Kunshan. The former spoke no English- I have since discovered that he does, and was just inexplicably pretending he couldn’t.

As my first moments in China took place on the motorway, my initial impressions revolved around the fact that the roads look disappointingly similar to roads in England, except that e bikes are a big deal here and they’re parked everywhere wearing coats and oven gloves.

A short hour and a half car ride later and I was asked if I would ‘like to come into work now?’. No was the answer. Luckily my boss was still pretending he didn’t understand anything I said so he couldn’t insist. Instead I was immediately taken to a small Chinese restaurant and handed some chopsticks. After about half an hour of dropping rice onto my lap and pretending that ‘meat’ is a sufficiently detailed answer to the question ‘what is this?’ we left the restaurant and I went back to my hotel room and ate the Oreo mini eggs I bought at the airport.

Then I slept for 16 hours.

I didn’t really see any of it the day I arrived, but, Kunshan is a small city sandwiched right between Shanghai and Suzhou (around 20 minutes on the train from each). It’s clean, relatively quiet and people only stare a bit. Like, just enough so that I notice them looking but not so much that I feel like I’m in a zoo (most of the time).


Here is the view from my hotel room in Kunshan on the day I arrived.


And here is a pink dog I met in a lift.