Hello readers. I made it to China just fine and spent one night in Nanning, a small town of 2.5 million people. I seemed to be the only foreigner there and was stared at by everyone so was pleased to get on an overnight train to Shanghai which arrived this afternoon. The ride was pretty comfortable. I had a hard sleeper because the soft ones were all sold out, but I managed to get some sleep, although I had a sore back in the morning. Diverse scenery along the way: mountains, rice-paddies, tiny villages, leafy suburbs, and huge industrial cities.
Once I got to Shanghai it was a nightmare finding accommodation. The World Expo is on which I knew about but didn't know it was such a big event that all the hotels would be full. I have a friend who lives here to help me and the place which he thought he had booked for me turned out not to accept foreigners so we had to look elsewhere. After much wandering around and phoning, we finally found a place just outside the French Concession area of the city. I could only get one night here but at least they have internet so I managed to book somewhere else for tomorrow.
It was interesting to discover that my blog is blocked in China. Apparently the communist government doesn't like what I have to say. I thought that was really cool and felt like some kind of revolutionary writer until I discovered that all of the 'blogspot' sites are blocked. And so is Facebook and lots of other sites. I've managed to find a way around it through a proxy site, hence this blog entry, and hopefully the Chinese government won't be monitoring this and throw me out of the country. Stay tuned and find out.