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Friday, February 2, 2007

shanghai days

second day in Shanghai. Yesterday the internet did not work in the hotelroom, so this is the first message, in a hurry, because dinner will be waiting in town. Michiel is picking me up soon. He's an ex-colleague who's now managing director of JWT Shanghai. Good office, very smart people, I discovered today when I was telling them about ways to make better briefings. Don't know why I was there, I must say, they rank no 22 in the international list of best advertising agencies Worldwide. Try finding a Dutch agency in that list.. But they are still a bit shy, those Chinese. I saw their eyes lit up though when I was talking about the Dutch fear of 'the Chinese coming': all those Chinese brands stretching out to Europe..! And they told me they thought too many Western brands are seeing China as 'an opportunity'. So I can tell them: your not an opportunity anymore. You have so many opportunities. Will take a few years though. The sessions were great. Talking about our cultural differences. Placing not only China, but also Korea and Taiwan, for instance, on a scale I will be using for my book too. Fun! Every country was on a different point of consumer outlook and faith, we found out. Interesting.
Shanghai is interesting too, of course, but it seems a bit boring to go and shout with the crowd: happening here! Chances! Inspiring! New! It's all true, of course.
One detail then: the death defying tours and turns you have to make when crossing a street, even with the green light on. Cars don't bother to look for bikes and pedestrians. They have to look out for themselves. What a shock for an Amsterdam Biker, who is used to cars stopping for him. Cars crossing the red light and just taking the corner without getting their foot of the gas, it was news to me.
Jet lag of course. Have seen the whole movie The Queen in portions in bed, last night. First I thought I was lucky because my computer refused to show it after half an hour and just went blank. Ah, I can go to sleep then. But even after a sleeping pill I couldn't manage to sleep for more than two hours. And so I put my computer on and off every half hour, to see the whole movie, in five parts.
Good movie, even when tired.

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