Meneghina Express’ numbers:

12379 Kilometers in 44 days

350 hours riding

297 batteries recharged

12 countries

4500Kg Co2 reduced vs. gas

Day -5 - China flag - June 5

Getting ready for departure

Sleeping in a place far away from your home with the jet lag, it might mean to sleep without being able to wake up, or gently indulging on a stranger mattress to wake up in a room, without any sense of orientation.

The second day in Shanghai - the first true day, whether considering the previous like an extension of the journey from Italy - started for Meneghina Express Team with a compulsory visit to the police station in our district. The local Authorities need to know where we come from and where we are living during these days; why we are here and the reasons why our visas take up an entire page of our passports. We walk from Nicola and Valentina's house (they host us in their home as if we were old friends for a long time) with a Chinese girl, who will help us to deal with documents related to our temporary migration.

As we get into a peripheral area, everything changes and instead of big malls you see tiny shops, stores alongside one another. They sell everything you can imagine and it isn’t uncommon to see a grocery store next to an open air mechanic's workshop, or you can see tens hairdresser shops in a row with neon signs and creative air-cuts that triumph by the windows. In less than an hour we got everything in the police station so we are temporarily and officially Chinese citizens. Tomorrow, if all will go well, we should also be provided with a local driving license!

After that, we went to Mr. Sun' shop, to take our two pick-up and we moved toward the "district of metals." More than a district, it looks like a small town: several square kilometers where they concentrate steel factories that work aluminum, iron, brass ... both men and women work equally there - and female workers do not renounce to wear high heel shoes even though they move strips of metal from a van - and it's amazing to see how everything is in turmoil, everyone is struggling with pieces of iron to cut, bend, grind. There is confusion that is difficult to describe, but in the chaos of motorbikes and cars that move through this maze of workshops, there seems to be a strange order: the production, the activity and the work does not know times or rest.

We arrived around noon, and we spent in that place at least ten hours: the pick-up of Meneghina Express needed new accessories. Nicola not only is a great organizer, he is a hard worker: he moves from a machine shop to another to verify who is able to achieve a certain protection for the oil pan. He also had to spend one hour at the phone to solve some problem at work, "his real work" but as soon as he got back to us he was smiling.

Giorgio not only supervises the work but he starts immediately to collaborate: since he was eighteen he used in welding, assembly and installations, electronic works. It seems that the Chinese don’t exactly understand how the work should be done, but in the end a thousand of difficulties things are done. Enrico with his camera start recording everything with the watchful eye of those who cannot get away certain movements. Flavio stands beside him with a microphone in his hand, trying to explain what is happening. He also makes some pictures while the "official photographer" is flying to Shanghai, with the excitement of someone who loves to be in new and unknown situations: all the video material we are collecting will become soon a TV series for Rai 5 (an Italian Television channel), and it seems to have already seen a lot of things, while we're just getting ready to start.

Nicola's phone rings: at the other side there are Valerio and Mirco. They are boarding at Malpensa airport and they will land tomorrow.

At ten o'clock in the evening the work on the pick-up was completed, at least those for today. It remains the time to go back home, have a shower and go out to eat something. Nicola and Giorgio decide to jump on Meneghina electric motorcycles, while Flavio and Enrico follow them by a scooter.

It’s nice to drive on two wheels in the streets of Shanghai, at night, while perfumes that do not exist in Europe pervade the air and you have to be careful at every intersection and every street, as well as try to respect the traffic lights, your attitude is not common in the premises. Tomorrow we will continue the work. We're also going to visit Tony's Farm, an organic farm among the better structured in Shanghai.

Will see some good things and we'll surely taste something good!

Path traveled today