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June 1, 2016 | Parking issues, traffic tickets and light beers

Our next appointment has been made and still in the greater Shanghai area. As we have previously mentioned, we are not allowed, with our Beijing number plate, to use the inner city motorways during the rush hour. This complicates the logistics a bit. Another problem was that after our departure from Ningbo, we were unable to find a suitable overnight parking spot in Shanghai, meaning that we had to drive 50km out of town desperately trying to locate a suitable motorway service station. As happened in the USA in similar circumstances, we managed to sort ourselves out. We installed ourselves on the carpark of a supermarket.

It was super quiet, until 5 in the morning when an industrious Chinese spent an hour sweeping up round our vehicle... actually it was already clean but it did wake us up. All part of life’s rich pageant. The upside is that we have a super place in a carpark in the middle of the old town, enclosed by a wall. Very convenient for all our appointments. There are even some pleasant cafes and bars.

In Shanghai we got our first parking ticket. What do we do about it? You need to take it to some address or other no later than 3 days after receipt and pay something... that’s according to our interpreter at least. Perhaps one of our upcoming appointments will be to go to the police.

Slowly we are building up a picture of the Chinese beverage industry. First, through the many discussions and secondly by our own personal research of an evening. At 2 – 3% proof, the beer here is pretty feeble stuff, little more than flavoured water. Then yesterday a proper Chinese beer from Tsingtauo. A finely crafted IPA, with a good head on it, hoppy, with an excellent taste. When the Chinese put their mind to it, they do come up trumps.

Here in Shanghai it is the monsoon season, hot, humid and most of the time it is raining. In the Editourmobil clothes don’t get properly dry until we are on the move and can fire up the air conditioning. In Beijing, the sun is shining and it is pleasantly warm. Pity we are not there really.