We had a long entertaining travel day yesterday. We left Japan at 7:15am and flew to Shanghai. Once we arrived in Shanghai we collected our bags and were shepherded out into the humidity. The airport was under construction and this led to some confusion about how to find the bus. We walked down a ramp where we unloaded our bags onto an escalator. With 29 bags it was a bit of a spectacle but we got through and nobody was injured. Although there was a minor encounter with a bag toppling down the escalator crashing into a very rushed man. Then we waited in line to take the elevator to the 2nd floor. Funny thing was we could have easily accomplished all of this without leaving the cool air-conditioned airport.
We were on the bus for 45 minutes and arrived at a different airport in Shanghai. It was a massive airport, and after storing our bags we settled in for 6 hours before check in time. At check in we realized we would no longer be flying China Eastern Airlines, instead a smaller budget airline! The flight was filled with our team and about 70 kids returning from the Shanghai expo. Never have we been on a louder flight. We were thankful to have reached our final destination, after collecting our bags we went out to the bus.
There was some confusion at the bus, we were told to load our bags into the bus (passenger buses with no storage below). Apparently chose the wrong bus because the next thing you know the door is being slammed shut pushing players out of the way and Krista and Kal were locked inside for the next 2 minutes. There was a lot of shouting but all was resolved the prisoners were freed and we loaded up the other bus. We should be honored the driver really wanted to take us players in his bus! It was decorated with some red carpet and nice cushy seats.
Once on the road we reached our destination in 30 minutes, passing cars by heading straight into oncoming traffic and running red lights. Out in the country it appears as though the strongest horn wins. People got out of the way.
The hotel is in the middle of a compound; we appear to be in a poorer rural area of China. We are not sure the name of the town. The hotel is not quite what we are used to but the staff are very nice and helpful. We had 15 women who unloaded our bag and brought them up the stairs to our floor when we got in. We have beds, showers with warm water and most of the toilets flush. We think its great that the Chinese National Team travels all over China giving everyone a chance to watch them play and cheer them on.
As far as updates we will do our best. Blog sites are banned so we are emailing our updates back home so there could be some delay.