It was pitch dark and freezing cold as I sat outside Songjiang Xincheng metro station at 5.45am on Monday morning, eating dumplings for breakfast. I had set myself the challenge of visiting every Shanghai Metro Station in one day, and was thinking this was not the most glamorous of beginnings. After a few minutes the staff rolled up the shutters and let me and a few other bleary-eyed commuters into the station.
My route took me along line 9 to Yishan Road, up and down line 3, all the way around the circular line 4, then onto line 2 into Pudong. It was now mid-rush hour and the trains and stations were packed.
As each train reaches the terminus, a small snatch of Kenny G is played over the loudspeaker. After Kenny played his sax at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, I headed back to Century Avenue, then onto line 6 north into the depths of Pudong – all while I would usually be asleep 🙂 Throughout the day I was updating Twitter from my phone, and getting messages of support from the many people following from their desks!
Heading south down line 6, I managed to meet up with agent 00J, who kindly brought me a sandwich. At the south end of line 6, we took a shortcut via bus to Line 8. I then headed on alone to the north end of line 8, where I managed to dash into the toilet for a much-needed comfort break (Note for would-be imitators: a strong bladder is a must)
I was making good time, and was already an hour and a half ahead of my plan! At Hongkou Football Stadium station, I transferred back onto line 3. Hongkou Stadium is a ‘virtual interchange’ which involves crossing a main road and running up several flights of stairs! Up to the north ends of line 3, then time for another bus transfer. I managed to mess this one up, ending up running over a kilometre trying to find the bus stop. Still, before long I was at Fujin Road on line 1.
We pulled into Minhang Development Zone Station, the final station, at 4:14pm. I had finally made it in 10 hours, 14 minutes and 42 seconds, surpassing my expectations, and hopefully providing a tough target for Wang Jian Shuo to beat 🙂
After completing the challenge I had to get home, so I took the metro. Somehow I had made it through the day without caffeine, and believe me when I say crappy McDonald’s coffee has never tasted so good…
Falling asleep on the way home…