China Trip Nov 2006:4

The last full day of the trip was spent on seeing Shanghai.  My company was two young students from Fudan — Lu Wang and Li Xiang. 

Shanghai is the most intresting city in its development.  It has compressed time.  So what will be normal for most cities is called its old part — developed mostly in the second half of the last century and the new city — most of its skyline — was developed mostly in the last 10 years or less.  It is still growing very fast.  This speed is possible only in countries like China.

They have a model of the city at the planning office.  This model is remarkable in its completeness — not rogorously examine but on surface — of what is there and what is happening.

Overall, this trip has been an experience.  I am sharing some of that in

During the sightseeing I also had a chance to chat with my young friends to find more about modern China and also to observe some things, particularly in comparison to USA and India.  China is much less influenced by religion than US.  Of course India is very different in this respect — religion is quite diminant there.  One thing that I find very interesting is that India seems to have much more attachment to their clothing than most other countries.  In India, most women still commonly wear, even in big cilities, traditional Indian clothes.  In China (and many other developing countries) they seem to have adopted Western clothing.  In China, most wedding dresses are also Western.  This difference is interesting to me.

Even in Shanghai, people still use lots of bicycles.  This is also quite different compared to India.

I found that young people, both in India and China, are now full of confidence and optimistic for the future.  They are frustrated by the corruption in the country.  Interestingly, Chinese people commonly talk about India being good in Software and I noticed a bit of jealousy there.  It is clear that Shanghai is possible only in systems like China, where political system allows taking focussed action without the slowness (in the short term) brought in by democratic procedures.

Overall, this trip was very good.  I made several very good friends, learned a lot, build some professional relationships that may be interesting, and had lots of fun.

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