17 December 2012
I'm back in Shanghai after the amazing SpringOne China and SpringOne India events. Had an odd encounter today. While there are no doubt many visitors to Shanghai, and China in general, you'd be forgiven for wondering where they are. They tend to be drowned out in the throngs of locals. Which is awesome. I love the locals! No complaints. Still, it was not very surprising to learn yesterday - on the news of a proposed new law in China that would let immigrants (who spend 90 months in 10 years in China on a valid business or student visa) apply for citizenship, granting much of the same rights in China as the American green card does in the US - that there have hitherto been only 600,000 legal permanent residents (all of substantial independent financial means) in China thus far. By comparison, the US grants 250,000 green cards every year.
So, when today on the metro going to the VMWare Shanghai offices I happened upon a lone other caucasoid like me who insisted on standing right next to me, I couldn't help but ask, "I wonder if other people think we're together?" He laughed. We chatted for a moment and then I realized he was French! I speak French. So we spoke briefly in French until the train'd arrived at his stop a few a minutes later. Then I started thinking about it. Since I arrived in China on December 2, all the other Caucasoids I've met have been French. In the hotel when I first arrived. At a few different cafes, and now there, on the metro -- all French!
What does this mean? Absolutely nothing. I have no idea. Just relaying a curious observation. Except for the people from SpringOne China, I haven't seen any other Americans. Granted, I'm not looking for Americans, or French, or anything. Just... bumping into them. What a wonderful, small world.