Just went for an early morning walk in Beijing — got in yesterday afternoon, so am still a little screwed up on time zones. It’s much more familiar & comfortable to me now on my third trip here this year — it’s amazing what recognizing a landmark or two will do. Yesterday I even managed to get a little run in & stay awake until 8p local time (5a California time).
The hotel I’m in is brand new — it’s the Wenjin Hotel right near Tshinghua Science Park — the Mozilla office is about 2 blocks away, so it’s super-convenient. The hotel is great — super-shiny, super-stylish, and the staff is very friendly and ready to help. It’s sort of like my whole China experience so far — ultra-modern, brand new stuff, stylish, tons of people around to help — but also a little empty — sort of like people are waiting for everyone to move in. It’s a strange dichotomy — it’s not like there’s a shortage of people — there are folks everywhere — but the ubiquity of new construction just seems empty sometimes.
Having said all that, I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Europe, Japan and China over the past couple of years, and nowhere feels the same entrepreneurial intensity as Beijing. I’ve not been to India yet, but for me, at the moment, Beijing feels more like Silicon Valley than any other place I’ve been.
More later — I’ll post some pictures to Flickr in a bit, once I get into the office — I got glimpses of the amazing new buildings going up for the Olympics — the National Stadium and the National Aquatics Center — amazing, amazing buildings.