4:30am– Alarm goes off. Didn’t get very much sleep last night because I was so excited about the prospect of a running buddy, new route and long run. (Ok- just re-read that and realized how weird I am.)
4:45– Leave apartment. It’s pitch dark out. Hear a cat being mauled to death. Seriously, the worst noise I have ever heard. I was so scared! Care– you would have died.
4:47– Ask security guards to call me a taxi. (Actually, that’s a lie. I can’t even pronounce the name of the city I live in properly. I just pointed to a piece of paper that said Jiaxing train station and hoped they got the message.)
4:50– No dice. But I did get to listen to some awesome Chinese pop on their cell phones…
5:00– Walk to the rotary in hopes of finding a cab.
5:15– We are off! Since I don’t have my passport right now I can’t take the bus. I had to take a 1/2 hour taxi ride to a nearby city to catch a train.
5:45– Arrive at the train station. So confusing. There are no places to buy tickets. I just start walking with people. Oh- this train is going to Hangzhou and the one on the other side of the track is going to Shanghai…and there it goes.
5:50– No worries. The internet said another train leaves at 6:17. I will catch that.
7:00– The internet lied. Over an hour of hanging out in a Chinese train station is not pleasant my friends. I think 5 people spit on my feet. Not on purpose but still!
7:17– There is a mad dash to line-up. I get swept into it. Grandmothers are leaping over chairs and butting in front of people. I wish I had my camera because there are no words to describe the insanity. People are intense about getting in line. We are all going to get on the train, relax.
7:18– Realize everyone in line has a ticket. Umm, oops? So maybe I’m the one who won’t be getting on the train…
7:20– Play the foreigner card and quickly sneak past the women collecting tickets. “What? Tickets? I don’t understand… we don’t use those in Canada.”
7:22– Realize that now I don’t have a seat on the train. Debate hanging out in the bathroom but then look in and see poop stuck in the squatter…
7:30– Wander up and down the train. Dammit, I am the only white person. Being sneaky is hard.
7:33– See a seat next to a guy that is creeping out two Chinese girls. (In truth, I have no idea what he was saying but felt like he was creepy and by me sitting there I was helping them by taking some of the creepiness off them and onto me.)
7:35– No idea if the train I am on takes 45 minutes to get to Shanghai or 2 hours. Close my eyes and take deep breaths.
8:17– Yay! I arrived! Boo! I was supposed to meet my running friend at 8:00. Park is 45 minutes away…
8:20– Wander around the train station. It is Expo madness. Subway or taxi? Hmm… actually, I was just looking for a Starbucks.
8:30– MacDonald’s coffee will do. Hop in a taxi.
9:00– Still in taxi. Living in constant fear of being stuck in a 9 day traffic jam.
9:30– Arrive at park! Running friend is long gone. Pay 10rmb to enter the park. wth?
9:35– Good news- Don’t have to hide my change of clothes in a bush, the office will keep it.
9:40– Start running!!! It feels so good! Going pretty quickly too. 4:35-4:40/km pace.
10:00– Still loving the park. Goal is to do 3 reps of the 6km park loop.
10:25– 8km in and I start to die.
10:30– Stop. Uugh. Walk break.
10:40– Amelia, you didn’t come all this way to run 8km. Suck it up!!
10:45– Start running again. This time slowly. Oh- it’s way easier to run when you go slow. Hm..this isn’t so bad.
11:05– 4 more km’s. Annnd that’s all she wrote. Right hip and knee started to really hurt. Hope it was just because the pathway was cobblestone and uneven?!
11:15– Creep people out because I am soaking wet on the subway.
11:30– Meet friend and shop and eat delicious food!! Love Shanghai!
All in all, I’m glad I got the work-out in even though it wasn’t as long as I wanted it to be and it was a journey and a half getting there. I hope my running friend won’t be too upset I bailed and want to run with me again. I’m also excited of the prospect of running in this park. It was really pretty! Could definitely have used a little dose of the babe patrol to help with the running… and more importantly, the eating and shopping afterwards! 😉