Thursday, February 9, 2012

Diary of a First Time Suzhou Visitor

Wednesday, February 8th and Thursday, February 9th

Today began with a 3:50 am wake up call to make a 5:45 flight from Peoria to Chicago.  I have taken this flight many times, but I still learned a new lesson: Small planes require most of the weight to be in the back. When the announcement was made we all turned around to see not one person sitting in the back of the plane.  Quickly, we relocated. Phew.

Then comes the big flight.  14 hours and 45 minutes in Economy Plus. 5 extra inches of foot room. Score.  Although,  it was still a little depressing after peeking into first class and having to walk through business class. They get socks to wear in flight.  I will be one of those people one day.  As luck would have it, the plane was not full.  I had two seats to myself, as did Clif.  I will only hope to be so lucky when we fly back. 

We flew over with three of Clif's coworkers, I was warned by Clif and his coworkers not to watch the tracking map of our flight during the duration of the trip.  I couldn't resist.  I regret that decision.  It takes FOREVER to fly through Canada.

Many lessons learned on my first long flight:
1.  I am good for about 8.5 hours and then I begin to loose my cool.  I was happy camper at first.  We got snacks, a meal, and then I settled in to watch 50/50 on my screen.  That was a nice cry.
2.  Around 10 hours in, men begin to not care if they are actually peeing in the toilet. It was not a bumpy ride, pull it together men.
3.  If all you have given me is a baby banana and pastry for 10 hours and the flight attendants are standing in the back laughing and eating food, I get a little emotional.  AND I am pretty sure she was eating cheesecake, we were never offered cheesecake.  I think I need to upgrade my seats.  I have a sneaking suspicious business and first class were given soup, not a pastry.

Lessons learned while driving to Suzhou:
1. Just because they send a driver for you doesn't mean he will know how to get you to your final destination.
2.  You should wear your seat belt.  Maybe two if they are available. Or just vow to not open your eyes for the ride.
3.  Your driver has no problem with pulling over to the side of the road to pee.  I shouldn't even say "side of the road," more like far right lane.
4.  In my 2 hour trip I have no idea where Shanghai stopped and Suzhou began.
5.  In Shanghai they do not separate housing, from industry, from farming.  It is all mixed in together.

Suzhou Industrial Park. Finally! From what I saw it is pretty sweet here.  Very new and modern. Lots and lots of colorful lights. Plus our hotel is pretty swank. After a dinner of room service and a 7:30 pm bedtime, I awoke at 5:30am and ready for our day of apartment viewing!


  1. So excited for you two. Hopefully, apartment hunting goes well. Enjoy your time and take lots of pictures. Love to read the blog!! You are not missing a darn thing at school. Christy

  2. what an adventure!!! Enjoy and write more so I can live through you:)

  3. So good to hear you are safe and sound on the ground.

  4. I'm glad you made it. I'm terrified of flying, so when I went from Chicago to Berkeley, that seemed like forever, and I was so doped up when I got off the plane, I couldn't hold onto my keys. :) I couldn't imagine 14 hours. YAY!

  5. Glad to hear you arrived safely. I'm enjoying this blog very much! Keep writing!

  6. Apt choosing: Ask how tall the fire departments tallest extention ladder is.