Wednesday, April 6, 2011

China Post #1 Arrival and First Impressions

OK, so I have a problem. I can’t access any blogs, much less my own to log into and up date it. So we are going to try having my father run updates for me.

Since my last post from the airport in Seoul it was a nice short flight to Dalian. Upon exiting the plane the differences were quite apparent. There were people in uniform lined up in places to kind of direct us to where we needed to go, though they did not say anything and we just followed the herd to immigration and onto baggage claim. We were met at the airport by a driver from the Shama-lux which is where we are staying for the next 3 months in Dalian.

It seems as though the airport is in a more run down section of Dalian or outside the city somewhat, I actually have not seen a map since we arrived. On top of that the driving was everything that I had heard it was and possibly more. There do not seem to be any rules that are followed on the road except that if you are bigger or faster you have the right of way. I have seen roads that are 1 lane each way with a shoulder on either side turn into a 3 lane road in one direction in a matter of seconds and slowly return to its original state after a bit of chaos.

As we got closer into the DDA (Dalian Development Area, I think, not actually Dalian) things got significantly nicer. There were some interesting large sculptures along the road and a park that had a whole series of flags from around the globe. Amazingly Dylan apparently recognizes the american flag, not something we have taken the time to point out to him that I know of. The buildings got more modern and well kept, though things here seem to be suffering a similar fate as in the US, there are lots of vacant spaces and buildings as people were building during a boom time.

Anyway, we pulled into the Shama-lux about half an hour after leaving the airport and while I just wanted to get to the room as quick as possible to lay down and rest, we got the full tour and explanation of the building, room and facilities. The place really is great and not something that Linda and I are really all the used to. The closest thing I can think of is luxury condos in the US, we need a key card to get into the elevator bay and again to get the elevator to go to our floor. There is room cleaning pretty much every day and linen changing 3 times a week. There is a “continental” breakfast every morning, but unlike in the US it is a real breakfast, not just some dry food and coffee, which of course means that I’m probably going to be putting on weight.

Everyone on the staff is super nice and while only a handful speak English they all will go out of their way to be helpful. Of course they all love Dylan. We have had to deal with all the usual people that work at the front desk and breakfast area as well as spending time with the cleaning ladies and the “engineers” (handyman) to deal with a few things that where not working quite right. I would have dealt with them myself but they don’t want you to do anything or modify anything, I did manage to borrow a screw driver to put together a stool that we got for Dylan.

On our first night we all tried to go out a get some essentials but Linda decided it was too cold and she was too tired, not to mention she nearly walked into a moving car in the parking lot. So instead I went on a walk to get a few things and find food for the night. It was pretty exhausting and all I wanted to do was get off my feet, but at least it was easier to get around quickly without Dylan. Anyway, it has been 5 days and I think we are all just about over our jet lag at this point. We still need to find a school for Dylan to go to at least a couple of times a week and figure out how to get him there and back since I can’t drive, not like I would want to anyway.

OK, until next time.

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