Posted by: David Stewart | September 17, 2008

Today in China

Greetings from Beijing, in the month after the 2008 Olympics!

  • LensCrafters seems really huge here. I am accustomed to scads of American brands here like Coke, McDonalds, Nike, Pizza Hut and Subway. But LensCrafters? The signs are very basic black and white, so I thought it was a rip off. But I have run into maybe 5 or 6 already this trip.
  • The sky was blue when I landed on Monday. Driving restrictions are relaxed on September 20, so I suspect the air quality will return to Beijing normal soon.
  • Main roadways have been dressed very nicely for the Games. You see “Beijing 2008” on a number of highway signs to indicate location of a venue. Drove by the ping pong venue yesterday, it still seems in use for the Paralympics.
  • I have not been able to run up to the Summer Palace from my hotel like I did last trip because I am only doing early morning runs when it is still dark, and I don't trust a largely unlit and isolated river path without views to the street when it is dark. OK, call me a weenie! But, comments aside, I may run this morning on part of the route for the Olympic Marathon… might be cool if I can dodge the cars!
  • The General Manager of my hotel is George Wee. (It says so right here on the letter I have from him). Makes me thing he is not very tall.
  • People here ask me: What do you think of the financial crisis in the US? Do you think our business will be affected? Um… how can it not have an effect?
  • One of my staff here is a total digital photography nut, so it's been fun to geek out with him on lenses, focal lengths, camera technology, etc. But others of my team here raise tortoises, play tennis, play video games…

Any questions you want me to ask the people of Beijing?

  • I'm running an informal poll

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