Travelling abroad is exciting yet scary. Especially when you go there all by your own for the first time. Just a warning for all of you beginning travelers, it is an addiction! Once you pop, the fun don’t stop! There’s always way to get by, money or no money. Sure the experience will be different but as long as you can save up enough to buy the ticket, there are cheap cheap places to go or places you can work and make much more than stay in your place with no experience what so ever. Well, I’m just saying. No offense.
Another chapter of travelling. That is exactly what I did. Yes, this is perhaps not my first time on travelling abroad or going to another country. But never once did I have to plan all the things by myself. I always had someone to take care of every single thing and all I need to do is just make sure my suitcase is packed. Honestly, I was beyond scared, I was-sure as hell-terrifying. But instead of afraid on my lack abilities to handle such stuffs, I was more concern on the remaining time. Guess what? I have to be ready on less than three weeks!! Alright. Don’t panic.. don’t be panic dee.. just don’t.
Why Shanghai? Me of all people will never had dream to go there, well, more likely I never had thought of going to Shanghai in my mind before. Never once I type “Shanghai” or anything related to it on Google. The only Shanghai’s thing that ever cross my mind is when I watched one of Jackie Chen’s movie a loooong time ago.
Then again, there is this international conference which is inviting university students from more than 45 countries, offering a free accommodation (including hotel facilities, also delicious-free-food) and free transportation during our staying in Shanghai. So, there is me went all the way of “that-selection-process”, sent everything they need and…. voila! There I was..shocked to know that I passed the selection with 249 other people from more than 1500 applicants AND that I was soon will be in the middle of place I never even think about before, with only less than three weeks chance to do all the preparation. Happy? Not really. Ecstatic? DEFINITELY!
Needless to say, I was extremely busy the next two weeks. With almost every lecturers give us their assignments’ deadline, I still have to go to Jakarta to make Chinese visa by myself because my mom was unable to help me that time (at least my passport still available until next year which make me can’t be anymore happy), search for flight tickets, print and copy all the documents I might need, search for information about what to do and not to do while in Shanghai, packing and many other things. Then without me realize it, I will be leaving tomorrow.
The first thing that crossed in my mind since I landed safely in Pudong International Airport (Shanghai) is that this place is pretty BIG! Yep, I know it’s an International Airport, but.. you know.. since I arrived here was already late and I was panicked because I need to find the metro station in this damn airport so that I can catch up the last metro. It’s a very very very limited time that I had back there. With no one that could speak a proper English or even understand English a little, I got even more stressed. Come on.. come on.. I need miracle! I felt helpless yet I cannot give up, simply because I don’t want to spend my first night in Shanghai to sleep in the airport. It’s seriously not funny.
In that kind of condition, I did the only thing I usually do when I got lost. I start to follow random group of people. Big group of people with suitcases, of course. Just then I noticed something plastered on the floor. There were signs showing you which line of metro you should take with the destination on it. And just then, I started to throw a small laugh and relaxed a little. The moment of relieveness didn’t last long, I still need to hurry up looking for the metro.
Learning how the metro ticket machine works for the first time is quite a challenge and I did it anyway, with someone’s help LOL. Another help from a sweet couple who offer to tell me which station I need to stop become another welcome relief. Overall, the plan of writing a book entitled “Getting Lost in China: Pudong Airport for Life” was canceled. Hahaha already got lost since day one didn’t sounds so appealing, right? LOL.