Sometimes things work out so elegantly. A few weeks ago, I was on-line working late at night. My friend Janelle was on line. She had been living in Beijing so I IM'ed her and let her know I was about to be on my way to her city.
Unfortunately, she's relocated to Guangzhou. But she introduced me to her friends and as soon as I arrived, they took me places. Some places (restaurants), I expected. Some places (Beijing Linux User Group meeting) I was more surprised by.
Their quick and effective effort to welcome me to Beijing and get me involved with local networks was wonderful. Even though Beijing is a huge and rather ungraspable city, it has felt very comfortable to me because of this.
As I write this, I've been here less than 2 days and have eaten in wonderful restaurants, seen the Great Wall, seen the Ming Tombs, been to my conference, met new business partners, discussed new business opportunities in China with my new friends and others, and slept a total of about 8 hours.
There's nothing like doing, like going, like being. In places, with people, in situations. I am a happy camper.