China is extreme
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
As previously announced I went on a trip to China. Mercedes invited me to a press trip to Shanghai. I needed some time to work up all the impressions by this extreme journey. It was not that long but pretty stuffed. It was my first trip to Asia, and I was really excited. All the expectations were fulfilled and exceeded. China is a country of extremes, in every single imaginable way.
After our ten hour flight we went to our hotel. It was overwhelming to see the hotel from far away. But right infront of it, it seems even more impressive. The Park Hyatt Hotel Shanghai is currently the tallest hotel on earth. The building is at the same time the World Financial Center and only the stories 79–93 are the hotel. The room, the view, the interior, the service, the food – everything was incredible. My room was on floor 80 and was about 450 meters, 1.476 ft high (491 meters, 1.614 ft in total).
After some time of refreshment we made a little city trip, we went through the crowded streets of Shanghai until we reached the People’s Park in the city center, where we had some lunch. We passed people playing Mahjong or cards, some people took power naps right in the middle of the park. In the restaurant I had a stunning noodle-chicken soup. It was unbelievable delicious.
After lunch we went to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center with its impressive scale model of Shanghai in the center of the exhibition. An Chinese architect explained the city structure, the development, and the most important parts of the city. The model was already impressive but when we found out that the model only mirrors one sixteenth (1/16) of the real city we were kind of spellbound by the size of Shanghai. It was the same feeling, like the one I had on top of the hotel. I remember standing on the Empire State Building (which is about 50 meters lower), and the view was impressive, but the city wasn’t endless. On the one side was the ocean and you didn’t have the impression that the city goes on and on and on. That was exactly the feeling I had on top of Shanghai. The city is gigantic.
Another stunning thing was the censorship of the internet. In the introducing blog post I said that I will keep you up-to-date via twitter and facebook. But that was not possible. Of course it was not that new to me that the censorship exists but when you actually witness it yourself, it feels kind of weird. It is a big difference between not being able to use it because of no connection or no device but being not able to use it because a country tells you is really crazy.
It was a fun trip and really interesting. As mentioned before I got a lot of impressions. But it was also great to have the chance to exchange about these impressions with some really nice people. Besides Kristina and Tobias from Mercedes, who are doing an incredible job, I met a lot of other interesting people. I met Alexander Mankowsky, the futurologist of Daimler, once again. He is an interesting guy with a huge amount of knowledge. I also want to thank all the others for the great time and the interesting conversations until very early in the morning, especially Sebastian Handke and Alex Kahl.
In the next blog posts I will report about a stunning restaurant where we have been, abut Mike Horn and his project Pangaea and the Expo.
By the way in Shanghai I also had the tiniest burger of my life. That’s what I call good finger food!