Mag Lev

Mood Ring Momma commented the other day that I needed to write posts to induce people to visit China. Personally, I believe I am a big enough draw but whatever. Some folks need other reasons to visit like fantastic shopping, wondrous sights, and mouth watering cuisine. MRM is planning on spending her 40th birthday cruising the Huangpu River on a pirate boat but needs to know there is something else to do worthy of her time and $$$; somehow flashers, squatter potties, and security risks aren’t winning her over.

Today I encountered another reason to visit Shanghai, the Mag Lev train. A magnetic levitation train that runs from a station in Pudong to the airport by the sea, it travels at 430 kilometers per hour, shrinking a 40 minute car ride into approximately 5 minutes. You might ask yourself why I ventured out on a gloomy Monday for a ride to the airport. Why indeed? Because Mr. Understanding left his passport in his coat and could not check in for his flight to Singapore. The flight was leaving in an hour and a half.

I called Princess Ai Lin for advice – car or train? Definitely the train, she said. She had just gotten off it herself and was on her way to the US to visit her ailing aunt. After explaining to me how to find Mr. U once I got to the airport, I hailed my driver V2 who was out doing chores, and headed to the train station, jacked on adrenalin. At the ticket counter I held up two fingers to indicate a round trip, ran through the turnstile and up the escalator where a train was waiting on the platform, about to leave. What luck! Patchwork plots of land with lettuce growing on them, demolished houses, industry, canals with ancient fishing boats, cars and trucks, whipped past as we sped to the airport, many passengers busily clicking their cameras as the kilometer per hour sign shot up. Whoosh! The rocking as two trains passed each other was particularly unnerving. If I’d known better I’d have brought my ativan.

Out through the platform, up the escalator, across the skyway linking train to airport, up another escalator, running, running, running, to find Mr. Understanding at check in area D. With 9 minutes to spare, he slapped the passport on the counter, kissed me, and was off again. I texted Princess Ai Lin to see if she needed a hug. She did. I found her in a check-in line for a flight to LA. We caught up on the weekend’s events as we snaked in line towards the counter, the only gringas in line for a flight to La La Land. After a quick lunch at the only restaurant available, I hugged Ai Lin good-bye and headed for the train to take me back to the Land of Tomorrow, thankful that Mr. U had his passport, that I got my weekly quality chat with Ai Lin, and that I’d be home in a Shanghai jiff. Book your ticket right now, Mood Ring Momma. On second thought, it turns out I purchased two round trip tickets for the mag lev so the ride will be on me.



Filed under Travel

8 responses to “Mag Lev

  1. thanks for the flavor of China. I liked the discriptions on the train. Yes I think I have wanted to see the China. I guess photos are out. But there is lots I would like to see. Can you upload on line? Love you today. And tomorrow. Radish

  2. expat princess

    Radish: ask MCV to google and post photos. As if!

  3. Tom

    Enjoy that Maglev train as you will never see one in the U.S. or even a high speed bullet train of any consequence. I think once they had shot all the Buffalo from the steam powered trains they couldn’t think of a possible use for trains in this country. Do I sound bitter?

  4. Laura


    I leave for your former homeland (the third one, I think, but I´m losing count) on Sunday. Any saudades? Should I hoist a caipirihna in your honor? Actually I will be in Brasilia, pretending to know what I´m doing in my new job BEING IN CHARGE OF an ageing conference without about 500 in attendance. Couldn´t be worse than my emergency run to our conference room today to inaugurate a Palestinian Day ceremony, without any warning due to bad scheduling, without any script or without even having been asked my views on the percolating crisis in that part of the world. Oh, did I mention I was keynote speaker, and had to sit next to monsegnor something or other who was dressed in some gothic getup with a square hat and drapes of black? Had I seen his elaborately carved scepter early on in the ceremony I would have borrowed it to bop some of my people on the head for putting me in that situation. But I digress. Tell me what you most miss about Brazil and I will do/eat/get it.

  5. Susan O'Leary

    having recently departed Brazil myself. I would say the parties. Always a good time in Brazil. Enjoy!! The people are fun and welcoming.

  6. expat princess

    La Lopez: send Susan a caipirinha. I will give you her address. For myself, I would like some cupim, a caipiroska, and my staff. Not in that order, but however you can get them here. HA!

  7. expat princess

    Tom: just a tad. I can only ride the train to the airport and am too poor to visit Japan. Have you ridden a mag lev/bullet before? I was serious about the ativan!

  8. maria

    Susan and MK….I Really miss YOUR parties…
    Thanks for Susan….I will take her words as if she was thinking about me(Ha HA)

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