I do admit that Iâ€™ve somehow underestimated China. Here I was, traversing on Shanghai Streets with no map, no guidebook and no Chinese phrasebook. The minute I took off the airport bus on Peopleâ€™s Park to look for my hostel, everything went from fun and exciting to LOST! Lol. Ok, lets say it was fun at the start.. As youâ€™d know luggages are kept in a compartment on the busâ€™ side, and thatâ€™s where I obviously placed mine. When I got off, I was a bit in a hurry to get my backpack and started to pull the wire which I thought was the knob to open the compartment. Well obviously I realized it wasnâ€™t the right knob when it suddenly sparked. Haha, I just pulled an entire side signal light from the bus!! Oh well, when the bus conductor went down to assist me with my luggage, I pulled my bag out from the bus, handed her the signal light then fled fast!! Hahaha.
Back to my storyâ€¦ Now apparently, the directions given at Hostelworld for my hostel (Ucool) was just totally confusing and later on found out wrong. ------â€śFrom the no. 8 exit on the ground floor, take the airport bus line no. 5 to The People's Square. From the square, take bus no. 930 or no 64 to the Xin bei men. Get off the bus, walk 30 meters back the way you came towards west, turn left on the light to S Sichuan Rd walk through one light, about 5 minutes, hostel is on the right .â€ť I must have asked 10 or so people where I can take the 930 bus, and no one had given me the right directions because no one can speak or read English. Eventually, a Chinese girl had somehow understood yet asked if I spoke in Spanish instead (how weird can this country get, no English???, then Spanish??? LOL), and so I tried my crappy Spanish number translations with her and finally found my bus continuing my search for the hostel near the Bund.
Two long hours later, I still havenâ€™t found it. I was sitting in the middle of a park at 8:30 pm, with a useless Chinese Shanghai map spread out in one hand. I wanted to give up and find a hotel nearby instead, but just as I thought so, two Chinese girls on their way home stopped to ask if I needed some help. I must have looked really lost and cold since they stopped, even used their mobile phones to ask where the hostel address was, and then later on offered to drop me off at the hostel through the cab she was going to take on her way home. Thanks, Catherine.
UCool Hostel was a 3 storey building tucked in a dead end street in the Bund area.
I realized later on that I had been passing by the same street again and again and didnâ€™t notice the small hostel name on the side street. Although we had fancy looking pastel colored beds with curtains, there wasnâ€™t a place to hang out, no bar, and definitely no beer. The only upside to the place was that, it was conveniently just a few blocks away from the Bund. Despite the 3C temperature outside, I hurried to catch sight of the Pudong skyline on my first night. The viewing deck showed a good view of both sides of the city having the river in between. Pretty much reminded me of Hongkong, which by the way I think, still looks way better. The Bund had a feel of somehow being in Europe, with European-inspired architecture on the buildings, enhanced at night by the yellow halogen lamps and the Pudong Skyline opposite it. It was around 10:30 yet the viewing deck was still packed with people strolling and or picture taking.
One thing I really noticed was that there was spit just around anywhere. Chinese are so fond of spitting here and there and blowing noses just about anywhere too that the average distance between spits was 1 meter.