Out and about Beijing (Part One)…

My “weekend” is Thursday and Friday, which I love. Even though I work on the weekend, it’s still the weekend and if nothing else, traffic and congestion is lighter than weekdays. So, I can convince myself that I have a four-day weekend. Having said that, this is my first weekend that I am actually not going into the office one or both days. I feel that I’m getting the hang of my job, to the point, I no longer feel compelled to spend hours and hours of prep work ahead of teaching.

So, yesterday, I took advantage of a day that wasn’t particularly smoggy and hit the streets. Take a look at the below series of photos. I shot them in front of the mall which has the market where I go everyday to buy up the entire stock of Harbin beer (see previous post). There has been a lot of ongoing construction around the property. What has amazed me over the weeks and is quite illustrative of the “Chinese way”, if you will, is that it’s an active construction site with absolutely no limitations on foot traffic, no barriers and no rerouting of pedestrians, as workers go about their business which involves lots of things that cause serious injury to passersby.

China is most definitely NOT a “nanny-state.” The safety and security of individuals is up to the individuals. You, and apparently, only you, are responsible for your well-being here. This applies to any construction zone, and there are plenty around, crossing any street which, I cannot say enough, ranges from treacherous to terrifying, to, even the windows in my apartment, which one can open and simply jump, ten floors to one’s death. I kind of like that. Not, jumping out the window, of course, but not being coddled like a precious snowflake. Can you imagine in the “Sue Me States of America” being able to walk through a construction site, let alone with an open manhole waiting for some hapless, device-distracted fool, to fall into? Just saying…

 

Here is but one of a million ways to die in Beijing.

Here is but one of a million ways to die in Beijing.

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These pictures understate all of the pitfalls and obstacles that are strew about.

These pictures understate all of the pitfalls and obstacles that are strew about.

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