Shenzhen, then and again

This may be the biggest place you’ve never heard of. More people live here than New York city. It has more factories than the US Midwest; a skyscraper taller than the Empire State Building; the busiest port in China.

I came here in 1996 and it was NOTHING like this. In fact, 15 years ago, it was just a bunch of rice fields! The Chinese Government decided they want to build this megametropolis to show the world it could… well, they could and did.

It was actually not very nice here at all in 1996… dirty, grimy, poor and a million poor people on bicycles. How things have changed! The skyline is now dotted with giant, all brand new, skyscrapers… the streets are treed and nice, and the great majority of people here look like they are happy, content and have a good income.

The changes are mind boggling. Imagine if in 1990 you were in Manhattan, and it was just a few dirt roads and some farms, then you came back now and NYC was there?? Ya. It’s like that.

This country is one amazing place to be right now. So much so that it may have topped Brazil as my #1 possible place I may stay for a while. I have to be in North America in November (will likely stop in Vancouver for a few days, then NYC, possibly Toronto)… after that I will have to make a decision… Brazil, or back to Asia.. or even possibly Canada (for biz). It will be a very tough decision… I may just end up getting a small place in Brazil, and a small place in Shanghai, and spend 6 months in each place each year… but the thought of that plane ride in between them is almost too much to handle.

I am back in Hong Kong for most of this week on biz. Looking at an entertainment company with some great inroads into China who I may help take public. One of the companies they own is a model/talent agency and I think they were joking when they said maybe I should run that for them… they don’t know this, but they would never have to pay me and even if they fired me I would never leave that job 😛

I will likely pop out to Macau for a day too during the week… will be interesting to see that again too as I hear it is becoming the Las Vegas of Asia with huge developments.

After the weekend I will have about 2 more weeks until I am back in North America so will have some more tough decisions… I am thinking maybe Shanghai, then Thailand and the Phillipines… but we will see!

Oh, on a final note about Guangzhou… that is a great place to visit also! I went to a club there yesterday that was way nicer than pretty much any club I have ever seen in North America… pretty cool. One weird thing about Guangzhou is there are a lot of black guys there… most from Africa, some from France… I am not sure what the deal is but there are lots… way more than white people… wasn’t expecting to see that. One guy I met, named Jeff also, from Africa said he was there doing textile exporting to Africa… but then he later tried to sell me hashish, so not so sure how legit his textile story was. 😛