Sunday, October 02, 2005

Some first hand impressions of China

First off, I think we are all in big trouble and bigger than we can imagine. The scale and speed of things is amazing. For example the PuDong area of Shanghai.... 15 years ago it was a rice patty... today there are 300 skyscrapers there including the worlds 4th tallest building and a radio tower that dwarfs that.... imagine looking at Manhattan.... and then realize it is all new. There are construction sites everywhere.... they do work with both hand and machine.... you'll see rope and tackle derricks right next to cranes..... they work construction 3 shifts a day... this way you can build a 50 story building in a year and half or so. As for cranes... those big tower cranes that on a large construction site you might see 4 or 5 in the US.... well it seems like in Beijing there are more of them than trees....... at the site of the new terminal at the airport there must have been at least 50 of them. An other thing that seems strange to our western eyes...... scaffolding made of bamboo all tied together with rope but maybe 20 stories high surrounding a modern glass building. We went through a new town.... maybe only 3 years old.... big wide streets and apartment buildings about 12 stories high for as far as you could see.... I think the guide said 500,000 people will live there soon!
These folks work.... I think that is all they do. I saw very few things to do with spare time..... only one golf course..... no ball field (unlike Japan where they are everywhere).... I don't think these folks play much. I didn't even see that many toys in the markets.

The future that your children, heck you, will have to compete in.

China right now seems a lot like Turn of the Century America and UK. If you work hard you can get ahead in life. These were the circumstances that produced people like: Carnegie, Van der Bild, and Rockefeller. It is going to be fun.


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