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Chinese Holidays

Quick note: I didn’t properly save my haircut blog post from yesterday. I fixed it. It makes a lot more sense now.

My desire to come to China is rooted in wanting to travel to some special locations. Seeing the Great Wall and the Forbidden City top that list. I’ve been getting advice about when to go and think I have a plan in place. More on that later.

When asking about holidays I keep getting told the same weird story from everyone about Chinese “holidays”. They have a lot of them that are observed on Mondays. However, to make up for your day off on a Monday you're expected to work on Sunday the day before. Let that sink in. You get a day off, but you have to make it up the day before. That’s messed up. Welcome to non-union Chinese labor laws.

There are giant construction projects all over the place. From our school we could walk to three projects where housing is being built. All of us in our new apartments are hoping this will mean more services like stores and restaurants will be in our area soon. Currently I have to travel a bit to get food or groceries. That said, I can have them delivered for next to nothing. I’m told these large projects are dangerous enough that people die routinely. They have a quota of expected deaths per project. The government won’t investigate things like this unless they go over their quota. Anyone want to come work construction here? Thought not. Martin from the UK was telling me this at dinner yesterday. Odd thing, we were joined by Zach the greater from Ohio. Yes, there’s a Zach the lesser from Ohio here too. He’s much shorter. I realized that it was the first time I didn’t feel like a giant in the presence of others. Martin is about 6’5” and Zach is easily 6’8”. At 6’2” is was the runt.

In other construction news I have a water leak in my bathroom coming from the ceiling. Note: I live on the top floor. I was sitting on the toilet and getting hit in the head with a drip which means it was splashing all over when the toilet seat was closed. Being married for 25 years means I’ve been trained to close the lid. It took me two days to figure out that if I left the lid up the water went directly into the toilet so I don’t have to clean it up. Yeah, I’m all smart and stuff. I’m expecting a crew to show up this morning and fix the problem.

When asking others that have lived here about traveling to Beijing I’ve gotten lots of advice. Where to go and when to go are topping the list. I got the where covered. The when portion seems trickiest to navigate. I have find a time when I’m off work, but I’m told to avoid the massive crowds that occur at certain times of the year. I keep coming down to early January as a target before the place goes nuts during Chinese New Year in late January. It’s January 22nd this year. It varies from year to year. This coming year will be the year of the rabbit. I will get a solid month off from Christmas through Chinese New Year. I’m warned that it’s cold in Beijing that time of year. Beijing is roughly the same latitude as San Francisco. It gets colder in Beijing, but they get virtually no rainfall in their winter. In order to avoid the crowds I’m thinking I won’t mind cold. I’ve got a few months to plan this out. I’m sure I’ll rent a hotel room for a week and travel by maglev bullet train. That should be cool.

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Do you know if they have any sort of private legal system? In other words, could a family sue the construction company for an unlawful death?

Aug 30, 2022
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Sometimes, in our litigious society, installing safety equipment is an acknowledgement that there is an unsafe condition. Example: You installed safety nets, therefore you knew people could get hurt if they fell, therefore you are liable because the safety net didn't stop them from falling in the particular condition under litigation. Stupid but true.

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