Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Arrived in Dalian China

After 24 hours of travel, I have arrived in Dalian China.  In order to get the cheapest fare, I had to travel from Washington National to Boston Logan to Washington Dulles to Beijing.  Crazy, but it saved my firm many thousands of dollars.

The ultimate destination was Dalian for the World Economic Forum so-called "Summer Davos" meeting where my company will be announcing a new initiative called our China Practice.  So, there was a relatively brief layover in Beijing and an hour and fifteen minute flight to Dalian, which is a seacoast city of about 6 million due east of Beijing on a little peninsula between China and North Korea.

Frankly, I was a bit concerned about flying on a domestic Chinese airline.  I still have this impression that Chinese infrastructure is poor and safety regulations weak.  I was wrong.  The plane to Dalian on Southern China Airlines was much better than the United plane that took me from the U.S.  To my delight, they even have AC power at the seat, so I could use my laptop without fear of draining the battery.  The TV was bigger, although for such a short flight there was no programming.  And the seats were much more roomy.  More evidence that America is falling behind.

Upon existing the plane, I could immediately smell the salt air.  Of course, it was raining, as it has been everywhere I've been for the last month.  The car ride from the airport was pleasant.  Dalian is a very modern city.  Unlike other cities I've been to in China, there's very little English on the signs.  I assumed that meant that this city might be less "international," but my driver pointed out that for 50 of the last 100 years, Dalian has been under the control of either the Russians or the Japanese.  Go figure.

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