Diary Entry : 5th November
Last night it snowed for the first time, woke in the morning at quarter to eight.
About 3 inches or so of snow fell overnight. Stepping out of my apartment at 8 o’ clock, the cold felt penetratingly bitter, even though I was wearing my big black jacket.
Again I woke too late for a cup of tea, just a small quassont in hand on the way to my first class at 8.
To my surprise, the road around the campus was still covered with snow. There were some cars and bicycles wading their way through the white stuff.
In China there is always people, walking, cycling or driving – going about their daily business. The day starts early, I start at 8am. However a lot of the workers, especially the builders on campus, start when it gets light, often to my utter annoyance, when I’m woken up at 4.30 by one of them hitting something with a very large hammer.
The campus (and China to an extent) seems to be in a phase of perpetual construction. The tools they use are considered primitive by Western standards. For example, they are putting in a drainage system at the campus. There are many large, long holes that are dug to lay the pipes into. In China there are up to 50 people all with a pickaxes digging away. Of course, there are 1.6 billion people here so labour isn’t a problem – and it is so cheap.
Seeing all of the manual labour reminds me of something I saw In an Industrial revolution museum once.