Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Miscellaneous Observations

Catch a flight and buy a car at the airport
From what I could see, Beijing is still bumbling along despite signs of an economic slowdown.

Restaurants like Din Tai Fung are doing a roaring business before 6pm, and Da Dong Roast Duck is serving dishes on Dragon Air.

However there are some empty store fronts and particularly at Panjiayuan many temporary stalls were not occupied which was unusual.

What is also interesting is that many of my local friends told me of their employers, state-owned enterprises, soliciting employees for new ways to make more money.

Seems like the good old days of stimulus packages and subsidies may be over.

Nevertheless for the most part my friends seem to be doing well, finding their way through the system or taking a break from it by studying abroad, mostly on scholarships.

It's those who break away from the state-owned enterprises who begin to flourish because they see possibilities outside the system.

Those left behind seem stagnant though the salary is steady, perks are not bad, but there is hardly a chance for promotion or change.

Watch out for the manhole cover!
Hopefully those who escape the state system will be able to find their feet in more progressive companies; or if anything realize the possibilities of doing things differently.

And French car maker Citroen is trying to stand out from the crowd.

I was surprised to see the car showcased at Beijing Capital International Airport.

It came complete with a young well-dressed woman manning the booth, though she didn't seem keen at doing her job.

But who is going to buy a car at the airport?

Or is this a marketing ploy to get all touchy feely with potential customers who have the money to fly?

Perhaps, but seemed strange.

Another anomaly is seeing road projects left unfinished, particularly sidewalks.

Why are they making sidewalks so hazardous to walk on?

A not quite finished curb that can be dangerous at night
That's because many of the sidewalks that are paved with bricks aren't all finished properly, especially at the curbs. And those places surrounding manholes aren't properly finished either.

The worst part is trying to walk home at night and not being able to see the uneven pavement in front of you and possibly tripping.

It seemed that the stretch from where my hotel was, at Dongsishitiao all the way east towards Sanlitun, either the edges of the sidewalk were unfinished or the curbs.

Even worse, some have extra bricks lying around near the holes and no one finishing the job off.

Very annoying.

Oh well, as I say, TIC -- This Is China.

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