At the End of the Rainbow

I’m back after being detached from my “Japan Plan” for a few days. Refreshed and ready to plunge back into research, I was pleasantly surprised to learn there are still two more travel clinics in my neighborhood. This, just before I was about to devote my day to trekking to a different neighborhood to systematically hit on every clinic on my photocopied-photocopy list. In the end, I didn’t need to. I found out one of the local clinics accepts online appointment requests. Convenient since it was 2 AM when I discovered this. Normally I’d need to wait til business hours but this – I hope – put my request through faster. Still, I need to wait 48 hours for a response. This lands me on a weekend, so I probably won’t know anything until next Monday. But, it’s looking pretty positive, and less of a shady place than Vaccinations + Botox.

If that fails, I can access the second clinic I located. And if THAT fails too, then I’ll go back to my original idea of hitting clinic after clinic on that ugly photocopy, early next week. Meanwhile, I learned that I have a decent window of 6 weeks for them to administer all my shots before leaving town. That’s very manageable if I plan to leave town no earlier than mid November.


*takes a breath*


In other news, I’ve come to terms with my almost final itinerary.

Meet the Hanjin Geneva.

I do believe she will be my home for just over 2 weeks some time soon. I like this photo because it might symbolize whatever’s at the other end of the rainbow for me. I hope to have fruitful results after going through all of this turmoil and effort.

My route, if all things go as planned, will be Vancouver to Busan aboard this baby. Drugged up with lots of Gravol, and perhaps a stronger prescription anti-nausea medication (readers! tell me your experiences with those skin patches – do they work much better than pills?), I’ll then grab an overnight ferry to Japan. I’m still unsure of which port I’ll arrive in, but I’m less picky about that, and can fine tune at a later date. I may need at least a day stopover in Korea, which suits me fine, since I have an interest in this country.


In Japan, I’ll likely make use of Airbnb.com. I was astonished today, to discover the vast choice of decent places and hosts at such low cost. The rates are generally a third of the price of places I’ve booked within Canada. That gave me something to smile about today!

Once I’m finished my jaunt through Japan, I will bypass Korea aboard a ferry that will bring me right to Shanghai. I’m a little bit frightened of being on a ferry for more than a day, due to the smaller size of boat. Anyone who’s tried this type of trip, please advise – did it rock quite a bit? I recently survived a harrowing ferry ride and I’m not quite over it. Bleh. I’ve briefly mentioned it in an older blog post, but to recap…

Boston to Cape Cod.

Boarding pass stamped with “Rough Seas: No refund due to motion sickness”.

Captain warns that the seas are a little rough today. And then – and I quote, “Actually, they’re a lot rough today”. This passenger mentally facepalms because she’s already feeling nauseous just crossing the footbridge from the dock to the boat.

Worst motion sickness of my life.

Bodies flung right off the seats. Why don’t they have seatbelts and railings on these ferries!?

Please Japan-Shanghai ferry, be kind, okay?


From Shanghai, I’ll be boarding either the Hanjin Geneva again, or possibly a CMA-CGM freighter. I’ll entrust my friendly German agent with the decision, depending which ship will sail me back to Canada faster. I haven’t researched enough yet, but I believe there is only one potential way for me to get back to Vancouver without costing me an extra long trip by bus from Prince Rupert. This would entail porting in Seattle, and taking local transport into Vancouver, or heck, indulging in an 80-125$ USD 1-2 day luxury cruise if by then I’ve made such good friends with the sea that I can’t get enough. Can you smell the sarcasm though? Once I’m on Canadian soil, I think I’ll probably crash hard for the first 16 hours aboard that long, long Greyhound ride.

Does this sound like a big enough adventure to you, dear readers? Any tips or shortcuts you’d recommend? I’d also love to get your recommendations for enjoying my forced stay in Shanghai (I’ll probably stay overnight at least). Tips for Korea are always welcome too, provided they take into account I’m limited to bus-train-boat-walk 😉


6 thoughts on “At the End of the Rainbow

  1. Shanghai is not that bad, 23 millions live there. I recommend that you stay near the bund (splurge) or Jin’an temple area (med spending, but VERY central to all action). Top tourist destination: The Bund, Yu Garden and Pearl Tower. They are ALL crowded. Personally, I prefer going to Shanghai propaganda art to stay away from the CRAZY crowd. The new world or known as Xintiandi is a total waste of them, because all the shops are western; it is more for the locals/expats to look cool and spend money. For dining: along the bund, an’fu road, fuxing road are all good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx for the tips!! Very helpful. What I’m more concerned with is not straying too far away from the port, since I may not have much leeway for timing.

      It’s a shame that most locals in any country/city tend to know very little about what’s in the vicinity of their local ports, unless they work in the field or travel a lot by boat. Those are probably the best people I could be in touch with 🙂

      I have no doubt in my mind that Shanghai ‘is not bad’ lol, I’m just feeling slightly overwhelmed at needing to research yet another destination when I’m already a bit short on time. I would love to research in detail while on the freight cruise, but alas, Internet will be scarce.


    1. My freight travel agent hasn’t yet told me which port I’ll need to use, the new one or the older one.

      I realize under my constraints, I may not be able to indulge in any touristy stuff. A meal and a bed for the night might be all I have time for, depending on the crossover between ferry arrival and freighter departure. Hence the need to stay relatively near the port – assuming the ferry and freight ship dock in the same port (which they may not haha).


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