Six days in Shanghai. Shanghai could be described as an onslaught of humanity.
Tokyo is a more populated econometric area, but it doesn't ooze like this. Hot exhaust from every tailpipe: hot spit from every window. You can drive for 40 minutes in one direction before you stop passing skyscrapers under 10 years old. That's IF you could find 40 minutes without traffic. Where New York drivers use their mouths, Shanghainese drivers use their horns. Never once has this horn use affected anyone, ever. One hundred scooters part a thousand people on the sidewalk.
When you ride the 265 MPH Maglev train for $8; when you take in the young Pudong skyline and mentally prep Manhattan's aesthetic defense; when you learn that 1/4th of all tower cranes in the world are building something in Shanghai... when you see 25 million people working hard in decent industries and living simply in efficient tract housing - you understand why people joke that Mandarin should be mandatory in schools. The delightful Engrish on menus had us in tears, but it also reinforced that my Mandarin skill is none. The one child policy isn't enforced anymore.