The Shanghai Experience

Richardglobalheader (4)

Shanghai is a beautiful city with a Sci-Fi feel to it.  The skyscrapers, like in New York, are plentiful.  Unlike, New York, however, they have enough space between them that you are able to take in the entire building with one look.

And what buildings; the Jin Mao Tower looks like something you would find after your spaceship landed in the largest city of another planet.  Another building, for which I have been unable to find the name, is a sky scraper consisting of tier after tier of Ionic columns.  It looks like what the Greeks would have built if they were building the Parthenon today.  The Pearl Building, when lit up at night, literally looks like a giant toy.

The city is immaculately clean, the highways are broad and everything looks new with the exception of the historic Bund area which was where the Europeans used to live in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

TnDSC08498I found the people to be extremely friendly individually but in large groups are more physically aggressive then westerners may be used to.  I was one of hundreds in the line to enter the show and was frequently buffeted by others.  It’s not mean-spirited, just different and disconcerting to someone who is unused to it.  It made me sympathize with those who visit New York from other countries and have to put up with our famous (or infamous) verbal jousting.

My recommendation to anyone visiting, particularly on business, is to allow at least an extra day to get acclimated before attempting business.  The combination of jet lag plus the cultural differences can be disconcerting.  A little extra time to adjust would be highly beneficial in making business decisions.  Also, some extra time sight- seeing would be a real plus.

And another thing; when working the show or doing business I suggest that you arrange for a translator.  The number of people speaking Chinese and the fluency of those who do make it challenging to have a conversation.  Having a translator will make it easier on them and you.

In my next posting; Doing business in China

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