Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 4:33 PM

Postcard from the Olympic Games - Traveling


This is the first report of several by Guanming Fang who is attending the Olympics. Born and raised in China and fluent in Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese, in addition to English, Guanming's innate understanding of the Chinese culture enables her to explain complex U.S. legal principles and business issues in a language and manner that is easy for her Chinese clients to understand. The reports in the days to come will be lighthearted and observational in nature.

We spent the day in Shanghai today. The weather is absolutely beautiful though very hot. The sky is blue with white clouds. Hope Beijing has the same weather. We took the world"s only commercially used Maglev train (photo, right) just for the experience. It was pretty cool. The fastest the train got was 431 km per hour. The ride is very smooth and quiet. The train wasn't crowded, and the train stations were clean. The only inconvenience is that the train station is a bit far from the city. We had to take a pretty long subway ride to get there. I've read that the Maglev train is underused partly because of its inconvenient location. I've been in Shanghai many times and this is my second time riding the Maglev train. Last time, I asked the driver taking me to the Pudong Airport to get out of the way to take me to the train station so I could ride it. It wasn't convenient getting to the station at all.

The subways in Shanghai are very nice. The best I've ridden anywhere. The stations are very clean and airy. The trains and clean and nice.

Because the Olympics are near, security measures in Shanghai have been tightened. When we left our bags at the hotel to store this morning, they asked us to open each bag for inspection. They told us it's a new measure during the Olympics. We are taking the train to Hangzhou. At the train station, they have closed most but a few entrances. All bags go through scanning. My hairspray was taken out for close inspection. Again these are new security measures during the Games, we are told.

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