You might be wondering how it is going here in Shanghai – and now that the meeting is over I can hopefully find time for a few blog posts. In case you don’t know, I am here for our biggest annual meeting, which is of our benchmarking group which includes most of the largest metros (subway systems) in the world. I have several posts planned, but let me start here with a brief chronicle of the week.
Saturday and Sunday were travel days, as I arrived at my hotel 30 actual hours after leaving home, including about 17 hours aboard planes and 8 hours in the premium terminal in Doha. Monday we set up the meeting room, and I worked on presentations, before the official festivities began Monday night with the first of what would be four generally excruciating “traditional Chinese style” (read: formal) meals. I wrapped up Monday night by working until 3am on my Tuesday morning presentation.
Tuesday we had meetings in the morning, including the first of my three hour-long presentations; I worked in the afternoon while most of the group went on technical visits to the metro operations control center and a couple of key stations, and then joined the group in the evening for incredibly awkward meal #2, before working again until 2:30am on Wednesday’s presentations. Wednesday was a full day of meetings, and my second and third presentations were very successful and well-received. Wednesday night was supposed to be a free night; I had dinner with the New York representative (who I know) and then pretty much collapsed.
Thursday was a 3/4 day of meetings, followed by a station tour and a special public ceremony to inaugurate a poem exchange between several metros, followed by the most formal of the meals at a very famous restaurant. Finally, Friday was a full-day visit to the World Expo. So, I am incredibly exhausted, but things went very well, and now I have Saturday and Sunday to see some of the city (including the metro, which I’ve ironically hardly used) before my flight at 12:50am Monday morning. More posts to come!