Thursday 12 June 2014

Dear Mary this China’s a wonderful sight …

Oh there’s people here workin’ by day and by night
They DO plant potatoes, and barley and wheat,
And there’s gangs of them diggin’ for gold in the street

Everywhere we go there is construction, whether it’s new buildings, roads or rail-lines, or renovations of the same. If I ever get a hotel room without a building site outside my window I will miss it. In Xining this tower block is creeping up beside me. Most of the workforce goes home at the end of the day but there is still hammering and welding after 11 pm by floodlight. At least these blokes wear hard hats and boots, unlike many seen so far. A block away there is a massive hole where once were 2 blocks of street. It’s all private investment, even a lot of the roadwork, building more toll roads.

Down in the town of Langmusi, a tourist attraction for its Buddhist monastery, I photographed this team working in the rain. Note that 5 women run the cement mixer, shovelling then passing buckets of sand, gravel, cement and water, while the blokes stand around until another barrow is ready to hoist to the roof. Some values are global.

As Ian has pointed out earlier, there is no shortage of raw materials. The rivers are trawled for gravel, the hills are full of limestone, and labour, apparently, is cheap. I wonder if the women get equal pay.

1 comment:

  1. I remember thinking in Shanghai in 1996 that china would one day rule the world. Just watched doco caled More than honey. In china some places so polluted at pollen is imported from South and people pollinate the fruit trees. All the bees are dead.


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