China: The Land of Instant Noodles and Insant Landscapes

Yesterday we made a decision to start our working day earlier.
So after celebrating Kimi’s birthday, with cake and beer and singing, we made our way back to the hotel and set the alarm to 05:30.

The morning had not broken yet, and the dim light of pre dawn was still hanging in the air.
Anyone with any sense still slept without a care.
All of us stood in a line outside the hotel stairs.
Sleep deprived and slightly dazed, but diligently there.
The only person on the scene missing was the driver.

So our super early morning at the site turned out to be not so early after all.

We’ve painted the benches black to match the building.

Suddenly one million Chinese workers arrived with our plants and promptly started planting them. It all happened incredibly quickly.

It was almost like playing Sims in real life: someone just said “make a landscape over there” and then uncountable numbers of workers scurried around until it was suddenly finished.

On the down side, the doors arrived and they are completely wrong.

The doors they expected us to use are made by some sort of wood, which you can’t see because it is covered by a plastic with a pattern of fake wood.

The doors were really awful. The explanation we got from them was that they thought we wanted four bathroom doors. But they have been here several times now, they know our building! Of course we don’t have four bathroom doors in our less than 50m2 bookshop! And what happened to the specifications we did give them about the doors and the glass?

[Edit: we’ve learned that there has been a shift of administration: The UED Magazine has sold their share of this valley, or something in that direction, to the China Building Company (CBC). So now our materials are being supplied by the CBC, rather than the UED, and this has meant a significant drop in quality of the materials. They’re giving us the very cheapest things they can find now.]

Also, the gravel has still not arrived and the shelves we received are all different sizes and they have been glued with something which doesn’t look like wood glue and they keep falling apart.

Unfortunately there is now too little time for us to do much about these things.

The inside felt a little bit dark, so we decided to white wash the inside of the brick wall.

And the roof window in the bathroom is in place.

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