Or, It Got Me out of the House.
What has this blog come to when I start talking about trips to Tesco? I wasn’t utterly bored, but I needed to get out of the house for a bit and headed over there through the dust of 锡沪西路 where the demolition work up at the corner has left stumps of concrete out of which twisted reinforcing rods are growing in a sea of rubble. There’s a line of shops further along which, it appears, is also going under the hammer, but as I came along, the shop front signs had been pulled down and were being broken up for scrap. Now where I’d naturally assume that you might use cutting torches or, failing that, hacksaws to cut the metal frame up, our enterprising migrant workers were using a sledgehammer. One woman bashed the metal with a hammer and her colleague twisted the piece sticking out trying to fatigue the metal so that it’d break.
I assume, because I have low expectations of life here, that the employers are too stingy to supply the proper tools or the workers are unable or unwilling to afford them. Perhaps they really are just a bit dim.
I went to a restaurant called Wish Doing (味之都 wèi zhī dū in Chinese, but written on the sign as W之sh Doing; the 之 looks more like a distorted i in the actual logo) in Baoli this evening. The menu was labelled “Recipes” and the title of the snacks section was “Nosh”, which is ironic because my trip to Tesco was N.O.S.H. – North Out, South Home. By the time I headed off for tea, the cloud had thickened up even more and it was starting to drizzle when I returned home.
One of the things I’d forgotten about this part of the country was the penchant for fireworks, which you don’t hear anywhere in Chengdu. Where the apparent ban of fireworks in many places is regarded as a suggestion to be ignored, the good citizens of Chengdu take no such liberties. I assume that’s so when such an over-militarised city wakes up to fireworks, they know, in fact, that the Тибэтанс are revolting and General Kang didn’t drop his cigar in the ammo dump again.
[22.08.13. In more recent news, Tesco is pulling out of China. I haven’t been back to the Tesco in Wuxi in a very long time because it’s simply not conveniently located. Wish Doing has also long since gone, having been replaced by some Taiwanese restaurant.]