Iâm sitting on a plane from Shanghai to Dalian for my next set of meetings with software developers in China. I havenât blogged in a while. This is a small plane and there is no entertainment. This is the perfect time.
Iâve spent the last 5 days in Shanghai. It was my first time to the city and I, like most people generally, am very impressed with the size of it. Shanghai is huge! There are so many people and it makes London look tiny.
The Expo is less than six months away and there is a lot of pride that it is being held there. The Expo logo is everywhere. I hope to return in the summer when it is held.
I stayed in a tiny room at the Rayfont Shanghai Xuhui Hotel. I wouldnât recommend it, but it wasnât too bad. My room was so small, I could see every part of from any angle. The shower and toilet were separated from the rest of the bedroom by a clear sliding glass door. Luckily I was by myself or I would have look away when someone used the toilet. The internet was slow. When I paid the expensive price for the breakfast buffet in the hotel, I could get bacon, eggs, crinkle cut chips, and spaghetti. However, I was on the 31st floor of my building (the hotel has several tall buildings) and had a nice view of the city. I even watched a thunderstorm roll in over Shanghai, which mixed with the lights of the evening, was strangely beautiful.
I got around mostly by taxi but took the metro when time permitted. I felt much more comfortable on this trip to China than I did on my first trip in August. I tried to get by on Mandarin as much as possible and many very hospitable people helped me around. Generally, everyone pretty much found my Mandarin to be amusing. Iâm really glad I can speak itâthere are many people (especially older people) that I would not have been able to talk to at all unless I could do it in Chinese. This was important, since travelling by myself got pretty lonely.
Most of my days were spent in meetings. I met with 6 software companies in Shanghaiâranging from huge companies to very tiny ones. Itâs been a very educational experience. Most of the time, I spoke with General Managers and chairmen, but I really enjoyed getting a chance to talk with people on a technical level. All the companies were very hospitable and I made some new friends. Some people even read this blog before my visit which was nice.
I didnât bring a good camera and mostly took videos of everything I saw. The trip was for business rather than sight-seeing.
The flight attendant on this plane just announced that the temperature in Dalian is below zero right now. It was hot and muggy when I arrived in Shanghai on Saturday. Iâm looking forward to Dalian.
In Dalian, Iâm going to meet with a few more companies and a few friends. Iâm looking forward to the trip. Dalian, I hear, is big in outsourcing but mainly focuses on Japan and Russia. They donât do much business with the West. Still, Iâm eager to see what they are like and discuss some things with them.
Hmmm. Adventures in software development. Who would have thought it would be this exciting.
Sorry if this post is all over the place. Itâs been a long day.