Access Again!

So some of the PCs in the hotel actually aren’t so bug-infested and crappy that I can’t connect to my own site!

Yesterday, Randy and I met my old student from Jeonju, Lisa. I’ll be seeing her again with a fellow student of hers, Faith, who’ll be back in Shanghai next week. (As will I, probably just for a day before I catch my flight back home to Korea.)

It’s odd walking down the Bund… I keep getting flashbacks to The Diamond Age and to the stories I had set in Shanghai. This afternoon I’ll be checking out older bits of the city and wandering about in those areas. I’m in a hotel on the Bund and apparently people like Einstein and Betrand Russell and (of course) Charlie Chaplin stayed here back in the 20s, when Shanghai was all wild and crazy.

(I was tempted to add “wealthy” to that list, but it still is. Last night, after chickening out of the Observation Deck on the Jinmao Tower, I had a coffee in a piano bar at the Hyatt and it was bizarre to see some of the richest and most powerful people in the country — local and foreigner alike — sitting around listening to bastardized erhu-and-jazz-piano renditions of 80s pop songs, drinking overpriced booze while people on the streets run up begging, or, worse, sending their children forth to beg, and young women are being pimped on the busy sidewalks. A bit stomach-turning, actually. Short stories bloomed in my mind, believe me.)

In a bit of a rush right now, and this PC has no USB ports, so I still can’t upload any pictures. I’m going to go nab a few spare memory cards and some cheap memory sticks, and then find a place to back up my files on those, and on my MP3 player. That seems my best option right now.

Tomorrow I’m off to Nanjing, and probably even slower Internet connections, so if I don’t post for a few days, you’ll know why.

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