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I made the mistake of taking the direct flight from Dallas to Shanghai. This flight consisted of babies crying for 14 hours straight, documentaries on Chinese opera and sleep—lots of it. While sleeping, I dreamt I was going to walk out of Pudong International Airport and it was going to smell like freedom and the journey of a lifetime, like you see in Hollywood movies. Instead, outside the airport reeked of burning gasoline and sticky tofu, which is an unpleasant combination. My cab driver, who I had hired a few weeks prior, showed up twenty minutes late and waited until I put my own bags in the taxi. I was not in Oklahoma anymore—no southern hospitality. The university I attended was in Baoshan, at least a 45-minute drive from the airport—talk about an expensive cab ride.The first sentence my driver said to me was, “Obama, Yes We Can!” I chuckled and immediately knew I was in for a journey of a lifetime.