It’s Shanghai Hot

Measured temperature 31C (88F)

Feels like: 41C (106F)

I’m going to my hotel to hide.


Lunch above Pudong

Sitting at the restaurant on the 91st floor of the Grand Hyatt Shanghai, next to the window.

The view was disconcerting, so I elected to sit by the window and face inward. Not too bright.

The blue on the photo is fear-induced.


Sleeping Cabbie, Shanghai.

I’m not sure who was more ready to fall asleep. Me, after being awake for 25 hours straight and 15 hours flying across nine time zones, or my cabbie. There were a couple of points there, in the dark hurtling down the expressway at 90 kph, where I thought sure we were going to hit the wall.

I started making all kinds of little sounds to keep him awake. He finally gave in and asked for permission to smoke.

What the Hell, I thought. What’s more important, life, or breath?

I told him to light up, and I opened the window.


Wisdom Nuggets

Homey aphorisms and country-fried metaphors seem to roll off my tongue with depressing effortlessness.

Clearly, I’m getting old. I’m channelling my pioneer ancestors.


Happily Zoned-Out at Narita

There are long, involved arguments to be made in favor of non-stop flights. Dating from the years when such flights were rare, I have grown accustomed to the comforting rhythm of a stop in Tokyo between Los Angeles and Shanghai.

Somehow, it slows the trip just a little, and eases the stress of business travel. It’s also about $1,000 cheaper to fly business class on these hops than to take the express plane.


High Centered in the Hills above Ojai

This is what happens when you go where no man has gone in a very long time in a 4×2. I was riding shotgun.

Thank the Lord for skid plates, cross-members, and our fellow scout leaders who pulled us out and teased us mercilessly afterward. Dan’s ego suffered far more damage than his car, which emerged with nary a scratch. B”H