Hello everyone from the Land of the Insane! So I am wanting to go to the head of the Chinese builders association here in China and bring them a copy of an old standby Fairy Tale for them to read: The 3 Little Pigs. Now before you all really DO think I have lost it here (been on the brink a few times, but nothing a night out with some friends can't fix!), let me explain my rationale...
You see, here in Nanjing (and I am guessing China as a whole), it shows a lot of umph if you are a builder and can build an awesomely impressive mall, building, or apartment complex. They are FAMOUS here for slapping stuff up in 1/4 of the time we (or the Mexicans) can do it in the States. The Chinese don't have common work hours, they will work in shifts for 24 hours a day until it's done (NO lie, I watched a HUGE apartment complex be built in a span of 2 weeks!). So convenient and time efficient yes, but here's the truth of the matter: these buildings are death traps! Yep, I said it. I should know, I live in one of them. As nice as they seem, they are riddled with architectural flaws, cheap materials, and even cheaper labor to build them. The wiring done is not to code, and many times are not insulated or stored away in a power box. Did I mention I passed a Chinese man one day putting up drywall in his slippers and a pair of boxers? Who needs uniforms?
But back to the matter at hand: these buildings are not built for endurance, they are built for immediate vacancy. My Expat friends here that have lived here a number of years tell me an average new building here will deteriorate in around 10 years, where then the building is leveled (if it doesn't collapse itself) and they start again. I just can't wrap my head around this, why not build it right to begin with? Heaven forbid an earthquake (yep, those things happen here) or worse yet, a Big Bad Wolf comes a knockin!
On a separate note, I wanted to share a recent interview of one of my swimmers, Zho Xiao Ya (which I seemingly can't say Zho, so I just call her Showya). Most Chinese here are VERY shy, and are terrified to try to speak English. This was a RARE day that I got her to open up a bit! You can either go to my Flikr page by clicking on one of the pictures on the left tab, or easier yet, just click this link:
Hope you enjoy it!
Hope everyone is well, I can't WAIT to come home for vacation (3 weeks!) on September 20th!