6th of August 2017
Building a house in China can be complicated. It can also be fun.
You find the place where you want to live, and then you find a house, which most likely is still under construction.
The Chinese move mountains. Literally they do. They make islands and lakes around them, all by hand. Well, there are also heavy machines but a lot is done by hand.
My first visit to China was to find a place where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I chose Fuzhou and found some local people who could help me. When you are a foreigner in China you need help. The system is complicated and the language is not easy. There are things only the locals know about, and you need someone you can trust. I was lucky, I found a family that helped me.
It was mostly the man in the house that helped. The ladies were occupied and anyway it is a mans job to take care of business.
I was invited to their house for lunch and there was a lot of food. A lot of it, as you can see. Fish, shrimps, big shrimps and of course lot of vegetables. I love Chinese food but the fish is full of antibiotics. They swim like kings in the aquariums and you buy one. You have no idea why they look so healthy but the truth is, they are swimming in antibiotics. My stomach was not too happy about this and usually I did not eat fish in my wonderful country. I knew the secret.
What I wanted from the area, which would be my future home, was to be able to see the mountains and a lake would be good as well. I found both. There were 6 islands, manmade of course. Several mountains and the lake just outside my property. Could not be better.
This was a new area, close to the university city that was also being built from scratch. My house was on island number 6, the smallest one. The bigger ones have houses about 400 square meters big or more. They do show you one of those fully furnished and they are beautiful, but I wanted something smaller, and got it.
During the construction I came for a visit.
I needed to see my house would not collapse in the next typhoon!
The view was amazing. Clear sky, mountains and the water just outside my garden. What more could I wish for? Nothing, except permanent residence. I was told it would not be a problem. I could teach in the university and everything would be perfect.
Little did I know.
My wonderful Miss Jiang, took care of me. She was my real estate manager. She had my interest at heart. She worried that the builders would cheat on me. Had it not been for my dear Miss Jiang everything could have been a catastrophic situation.
But she was there by my side all the way, until she got pregnant and left her job for one year, to take care of the baby.
In China we are clever. The sun is hot, really hot, and we use umbrellas for protection. Hats are not common, except of course on the caddies and the golf players. Even though everything is a mess, the golfers are out. The golf course is partly around my house and I saw them every day.
Chinese golf is for the rich ones. The really rich ones. Perhaps it is like that everywhere. I did not play golf but watching my country men was fun. They were all men. I have never seen golf like the one they practised. If the ball ended up in the water it was just left there. The caddies, the ladies in pink, took care of everything. During the afternoon brake, swimmers went into the water, diving for the little white ones. The same happened in the evening, before dark. There is no golf after 5. I don´t know if the divers could sell the balls or if they just gave them back to the company. I never asked.
If the golfers want to cross the road and you are driving, guess what. You have to stop. The golfers are the lucky ones and you wait.