Shanghai Surprise

Talking to Jack about his time in China is interesting. The industrial boom towns have huge shiny hotels with no potable running water. Everything, absolutely everything is available if you have money. If you come into a hotel and they claim to be booked up, your best bet is to find a prostitute in the jazz bar and pay for her services; a room will then appear. The infrastructure is complete crap and the pollution is out of control, but there’s a Ferrari dealership.

Wealthy foreigners managing their local businesses should stay in their outsiders’ enclaves and not fraternize with the locals; they’re likely to end up beaten to a pulp or worse.

There’s a whole subclass of foreign bums; people who somehow got to Shanghai but ran out of money. They have enough to get by for a while, but not enough to leave. They hang around tea houses looking disheveled. Their eventual fate is not good.

A consultant can fly in, install a computer network, make $50K in a week, and fly out. The medical system is completely broken; there aren’t enough ambulances or hospitals. Don’t get sick there.

Welcome to the gold rush!

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