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China! Shenyang, poor air, neon buildings

I’m in China!  How crazy is that?  Working (not really – more hanging out with my buddy) at a trading firm my friend works for – they offered to fly me over to check it out and I couldn’t say no.  It’s pretty cool – these guys and girls trade all night long, they trade the US market hours.  It’s cool to see – probably 400 kids banging away on the keyboards, making money.  And lots of it by their standards.  Cool business model and good for everybody.

One thing that struck me was the air after stepping outside the airport in Shenyang (an hour flight north of Beijing).  It smelled like an exhaust pipe.  And that hasn’t changed much so far on the trip.  And my room is an ashtray it seems, in a pretty nice hotel.

Another impression was the tons of neon lights on the big buildings – it was very reminiscent of Las Vegas but no centralized strip – it’s like the government paid for it or made a law or something.  And the buildings go on and on – 7 million people here and nobody’s heard of it.  Pronounced “Shay-young”.  Ty says six months ago the skyline was dark at night.  Now it is very active and colorful, rainbows appearing to run down the corners and faces of buildings, huge video screens, giant glowing blue and green circles on the facades of buildings.  Like nothing I’ve seen.  And contrasted with small run-down filthly buildings.  A layer of soot is on everything.   This is a very industrial city they tell me, and I believe it.  Took 21 hours of travel to get here.  Enjoyed a massage and haircut at the airport in Beijing during our layover.  I’m a bit tired.

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