I just concluded a week in Shanghai and begin the journey home tomorrow. I had the pleasure of working with a lot of very smart (and very polite) Microsoft developers in Beijing and Shanghai these past two weeks and will be bringing home a lot of fond memories.

I had yesterday off, so after having a leisurely breakfast, walking down to Starbucks for a vanilla mocha, and working in the hotel the rest of the morning, I decided to do some sightseeing. I went to the Bund, which is Shanghai’s most popular tourist destination and is about a 15-minute cab ride from my hotel. The Bund lies alongside the Huangpu River in downtown Shanghai. There are lots of skyscrapers along the river, plus the world’s tallest TV tower (the “Oriental Pearl”). Here are some pictures. The Oriental Pearl is the tall tower on the left side in the first picture:

The Bund (1) 

The Bund (2)

While I was at the Bund, I took the opportunity to walk down Nanjing Street, which is Shanghai’s most popular shopping area, to do some shopping for my girls. It’s about a mile long and it’s wall-to-wall stores. Here’s what it looks like:

Nanjing Street (1)

Nanjing Street (2)

I got back to the hotel about 3:00 and hadn’t had lunch, so I walked to the Heng Shan Cafe down the street and had their yummy Sichuan (Szechuan) chili chicken. It costs $7, whereas a large cup of Starbucks coffee costs almost $6:

Sichuan Chicken

The red things are peppers, and yes, they’re hot. But I’m careful not to eat too many of them and it is a *wonderful* meal!

While in China, I’ve been reading The World is Flat by Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas Friedman. It is a terrific read and a real eye-opener, especially in light of my recent experiences in India and China. It should be required reading for every high school student in America. If you haven’t read it, consider picking up a copy. The world really is flat (and becoming flatter every day), and the way to succeed in a flat world is to think horizontally. Too bad our idiot politicians don’t read this book. Then again, it’s probably way over their heads.