We packed our belongings and left the hotel around 11 o’clock, called an uber taxi and went to the train station. The trip took 40 minutes since the traffic was pretty dense. It was a “shared ride” with another person so it cost us just 1 euro. I wonder how the drivers can live off this salary. We had lots of time until the train was going to leave.
Taking the train from Qingdao was much more “normal” than from Beijing. We had to pass security checks as usual but besides of that, the train station was smaller and not overcrowded.
We bought lunch at McDonald’s. They had a different menu here. I tried a spicy and crispy chicken burger, which would be too hot for the European market but tasted good.
Our train was a bit delayed, so we had to wait a bit longer in the waiting hall, which was now stuffed with people. I don’t know why but crowds didn’t bother me so much here. Maybe it’s because I can see over most people’s heads?
We got into the train after a normal-chaotic boarding process. Cutting the lines is not really considered rude here. You just have to keep it flowing.
Now we had 7 hours of train ride ahead of us. Good time to prepare my presentation. We had a change of plan: Meng needed to go to her new University for a trial lecture, where she will work as a lecturer from August. So we skipped the mountains and will go to Qinghai instead. At first, we agreed that I will give a short informal talk to show what Nofima is and what we are doing to see if we could find topics for cooperative projects. Then it changed to a one-hour presentation and now it is an up to two hours lecture in front of students and professors with Meng as my translator. That will be interesting.. But now I really have to put effort in this. Seems that the university will pay for my trip to Qinghai and the hotel there. We will see how it will go but this could be a good experience and maybe we get a cooperation started.
When working in a Chinese train, noise-canceling headphones are like heaven! People watch movies on iPads with speakers on and everybody talks very loudly.
The seven hours in the train went pretty fast. I helped an old lady with her luggage and we got kind of a thin layered folded up crepe from her. We couldn’t communicate but this was nice.
When we arrived in Shanghai the temperature difference was quite overwhelming. It was 21 o’clock now but the air was very warm and humid. We went down to the subway and into town. Meng booked a room at a youth hostel, which turned out to be very nice. It was located in the center of Shanghai in the 5th floor of a huge building.
We checked in and went for a quick dinner. Tonight we tried a chicken leg, stuffed with rice from a small grill on the street and wonton soup at a tiny restaurant, selling only different wonton soups. This was one of the really good choices. Tasted a lot like German Maultaschen soup but I think, better.
That’s it for today.