As I have mentioned in a previous post, I had made the decision to take up an offer of a scholarship in Shanghai, China at Fudan University. After a week stacked full of goodbyes, farewell drinks and packing, my departure date came quickly. My feelings on this were almost non-existent; I fluctuated from not quite realising that it was finally happening to anxiety stemming from the fact that it had been four years since the last time I’d been in mainland China.
Needless to say I managed to get here in one piece. Arriving at Pudong Airport, sweaty and sleep deprived, I was ambushed by a airport transfer representative. The fee is pretty high (550RMB) compared to taking a local taxi (150-200RMB), but then again, I was tired, I was given a spacious and air-conditioned car for a fixed price. The driver was patient and made an effort to take me as far as he could onto campus until he was stopped by one of the guards at the dorms for international students.
After registering at the reception for my room (which is included in my scholarship), I wandered around in the main modern-looking international students apartment building until I actually located the “supplementary buildings” behind it. That’s where I’d be staying. I went in, and to summarise, the place was in a bit of a state (no photo available because I couldn’t be bothered to do it). Let’s just say the highlights were dirty bathrooms, rotting food in a mini-fridge and mouldy bedding that had been left behind in one of the rooms. It required a bit of running around with my new house mates and being told a couple of times that it wasn’t going to be dealt with, but some of the university staff were eventually able to have a look and arranged to have everything cleaned up. This meant I could finally have a shower, get on with my day and buy up everything that I was missing, such as internet access and bedding.