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Before you come to China, you might have an idea that it will be ancient tea houses, tight alley ways full of culture and history, or people living the same way they did hundereds of years ago.
You'd be wrong.
China is changing, and sometimes too fast. So Winston and I delve into something that we find a little disappointing sometimes, and that is the lack of maintanence in China.
If you go to most old areas, you can almost see the history pouring out from the ancient buildings and temples, but they are almost never maintained. This problem is to the point where we are having a difficult time finding anything that is more than 50 years old, simply because it is all collapsed.
This isn't limited to old things either. Chinese people have had an issue with maintenance with most things for a long time.
Hop on and find out more!
Living in China for so long, we would like to share some of the comparisons that we have found between China and the west, and shed some light on the situation.
Every week, we take you to a new place in China on our bikes, cover a topic, and reply to your questions.
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I don't know. Construction workers in the west also don't own the houses they built. I see no reason why a wage worker under socialism would have any less motivation then in the west. I rather think that the centralized structure of China's communism causes that management is overwhelmed and creates a single point of failure. In the west, construction corporations usually manage only a narrow part of the economy and only a few building compared to what the centralized government manages. Also in the west, badly managed corporations die off. This is like an optimization algorithm. Also the car and bike example show that even if they own it, like in Capitalism, they don't care for it. So it runs deeper than that.
We help each other and we will share, maybe neighbour in the village area, but not likely in the town. People are having a closer friendship. Town people are much complicated, you don't know where they come from, China is too big, the population ratio of criminal is definitely much larger than foreign country. For the old house, the government owns the land, who would maintain the house when your ancestor die and you have to rent the land again? Many people are moving to town, some are emigrated, the big family of the last name is even gone, so the result is these old broken houses.
Interesting stuff, it seems like the fact that you can't pass property on (70yr leases right?) just disinsentivises putting money into it. Capatalism free markets private property rights are the foundation for people being able to take pride in what they do. It's a natural system that takes into account human nature. Yes in every system you will find injustice unfairness suffering but the fact remains communism has killed more people by far that capatalism. It's the best system if you look at facts. China has become wealthy using capatalism... Allow the irony of that to sink in!
An understand of the chemistry involved in concrete and the building sciences is also a contributing factor in even in the USA, but our International Building Standards for residential construction of single family and low rise buildings establishes a minimum standard. China, an emerging country with huge poverty that has one foot in the 21st century and one in the 18th has a huge hill to climb. And as you have mentioned, maintenance is essential no matter how well constructed.
Concrete is cement and very important 3 other components. I can not stress how important CLEAN; gravel, sand, and water are. Add to that, the effects of freeze/thaw cycles, the skill of the concrete finishers, the control of evaporation, and the poor quality of Chinese rebar are all part of why they are falling apart. Being a poor country whose majority population just 40 years ago didn't have running water, potable water, and availability to electricity, it doesn't surprise me that their is a learning cycle and a cultural mind set to over come. Small farmers in the US for centuries used spit and bailing wire to hold things together. there places are often Gerrymandered to the point of WTF. It's human nature partly.
Air entrainment compounds are essential to protecting concrete from freeze damage. And of course the coverage/bond between the concrete and the rebar for structural strength that vibrators nick-named dildos are used for. They are vibrating snakes from 4 to 12 feet long and 3/4" in diameter used to insure bonds and voids in the pour. I also found that small mid-rise projects in South East Asia if the roads are poor, a given, the building is mixed by small 1/2 yard concrete mixers on site and placed by a group of men carrying 5 gallon buckets in ladders. All of these factors would give anyone a less than optimal outcome.
My neighboring state of Penn. just 5 years ago finally signed on to the International building standards for residential construction. Meaning that outside major cities, their were few codes that limited the fly by the seat of your pants shit I don't often see as a given practice here in Maryland. You don't see many structures built out of wood much older than a 120 years here. And that ones that did survive are termite infested and crooked as hell.
I designed & built my Filipina wife's home in Mindanao for her family. The better supply houses offered rebar from Japan rather than the poor quality than China sold. Yet finding clean gravel, good quality sand and water in the country was a huge challenge. And as far as an understanding of sewer flows, the fall of waste products, ie shit, the safety of electrical systems and the need for electrical grounds . . . all threw me for a loop. Even something as simple as a roof boot for plumbing vents or cleaner for PVC before you glue were no were to be had.
Do a video on the current toilet situation in China, and answer these questions -
1 Are people still using squat toilets?
2 If people do not have access to a flush system for a toilet - do they use squat toilets or camping toilets or composting toilets?
So let me see if I understand clearly. Certain structures and areas in China are similar - but not limited to - some stuctures and neghborhoods which might be found in the following places in the U.S. : St. Louis / Ferguson / Kansas City, Cleveland / Akron / Dayton / Cinncinati, OH + Detroit / Flint / Lansing Mich + Rochester / Buffalo / Troy / Albany / New York NY + Lowell / Lawrence / Holyoke / Brockton / Springfield / Chelsea MA + Seattle / Spokane WA + Portland OR + Houston / Galvaston / Dallas Fort Worth TX + New Orleans / Baton Rouge LA + Jackson MI + Chicago IL + Mobile AL + New Haven CT + Pittsburgh / Philadelphia / Allentown / Harrisburgh / Scranton PA + thousands more - and most of our infrastucture, especially concerning bridges, rail systems, ports and dams, housing, old power plants including nuclear and places to store radioactive fuel, & schools. Why bother wasting our time pointing fingers at the mistakes of other nations. Wether you want to call some aspects of this video just a lack of maintenance, or the ravages of communism, old stutctures are pretty much the same in most nations. The American experiment does seem as tho it may be winding towards it's demise. We have so much work to do, and perhaps not so much time in which to do it.
Over years China was focusing on it economically and capitalism advancement, nobody was really talking about communism. Most people envy and hoping to be rich like the Chinese. In fact, I will want to enter the China market and make more Chinese friends. As many people hope to be part of China hot money making the train. Being a Chinese, I am very proud it. However, after Trump has slowed the economy down in China. I realize the Chinese communist party, it is trying to keep its regime in the stability that why they introduce capitalism and economic growth. Initially, I thought the Chinese gov does it on good faith to bring all Chinese out of poverty and wanted to have a change in lifestyle. But now, it is different. Trump has made me realized it Chinese gov is trying they keep their regime stable. Trump should continue to add more pressure on China and bring down this whole entire regime and stop this madness growth and make people think about whether the is growth real or just a bubble to keep the regime around.
Interesting how people keep insisting that this is about communism or socialism... yet Americans are sitting on decaying infrastructure: roads, pipes, wires on top of urban decay conveniently overlooked as well.
Maintenance? To me it looks like unfinished constructions. The purpose is not the house, but to get money. And some others just started to build and did have no money. What does this have to do with whatever mentality? Go have a look to areas in capitalist countries, go check out depressed areas is the US or UK or any other more popular areas in so modern and liberal Europe. You be suprised. And report on public money waste projects… capitalist mentality is private profit for the few and publc cost and losses for the public…
YOU SHOULD COME SEE WHAT THE BUILDINGS ARE LIKE IN GREECE ,AND IT BECAUSE THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF FOR DECADES AND HAVE NO MONEY LEFT TO REPAIR THE BUILDINGS
AND IT LOOKS LIKE WHAT IT IS ,A DUMP
Ooh I dunno, if a British landlord came round asking everybody to voluntarily contribute an extra 20p to buy a new bulb there'd be violence. Extra money is just added to the rent as maintenence fees or nothing will get done. And ANYONE who has experienced a shared office cafeteria in any country no doubt has tales to tell.
Interesting the guys picked up on plastic packaging remaining on things. I've been going out to China for 12 years now (my wife is from Guangxi, China), and I always find it kind of annoying the way they leave the protecting plastic covering on things, whether it be window frames, fridges, laptops computers etc.. It just gets more and more scruffy over time, and eventually looks a real mess. Why not just take it off when the item is new...?
Why maintain things when the government is likely to come along and bulldoze it? I can't imagine this was always how things worked in China. Here in the US, I recall a time when our local shortline rail system (rapid transit) had plans, along with the county, to drive a line spur through the neighborhood in which I live. Homes along that path started being maintained less and less. After a while, I guess the plans changed, but by that time, many homes had fallen into disrepair to the point where they were sold for a "song" or bulldozed if they'd reached a state of disrepair that was uneconomical to repair rather than destroy.
My own home was purchased for a song by my dad ($7K), who later sold it to me. It was a fixer upper when he bought it, and although he did make some improvements, it was still (and sadly is still) a fixer upper for me, even though I've made some progress restoring it.
I have lived in Guangdong Zhaoqing City for nearly nine years. I make very similar observations. You see, no one like anything old, unless, like in our case in Zhaoqing, it has been declared an International Heritage Site, which of course means the locals do not have to pay for it. The money comes from the United Nations, to Beijing, who chips in some more money, then it goes to Guangzhou where some of the money is scraped off for lazy bureaucrats, to Zhaoqing where lazy bureaucrats pocket a little more, and then contracts are awarded to someone's brother-in-law, who keeps the lions share for himself and pays his workers enough to eek by. China, you don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps! Keep up the good work guys.
When we lived in commie Czechoslovakia we left the exterior look shabby for self defense. We painted, but it wasn’t made to look great, because it was easier to avoid getting people jealous and risk a break-in or vandalism.
Are these guys a joke? They ride through a poor suburb and say China is falling apart. And their Chinese is so elementary. Like, could they even hold a conversation with 5 year old? And they want to tell you everything about China. Are they English teachers? (AKA Economic refugees).
I'm worried about these recent transit orders by USA that approved CRRC ( China Rail Rolling stock Company) to manufacture subway cars here in Chicago Illinois the mayor approved a 1.3 billion dollar contract to manufacture 846 railcars but from what I have researched the stainless steel carbodies are the only thing that will be manufactured in China all of the electronics ,hardware will be domestically made but they may not be true...we shall see in late 2019 - 2022.
Do shared buildings in China have body corporates?
I'm not sure if it's called something else overseas but in Australia, you basically "have to" have a body corporate or an entity that manages a common property. Such as a building with many apartments, everyone pays the body corporate to maintain shared/common property.
My wife’s family live in what was a very nice apartment complex in Harbin. I visited when it was only about three years old and it looked really nice and modern. About five years later it looked about fifty years old already. The paving etc was cracked to hell and overgrown with weeds. There was an ornamental pond which looked like a cesspit. Paint peeling off. Broken lighting etc.
Inside the apartment is fine, really well kept, warm and comfortable.
Every where in the city looks old before its time.
After transiting through the Shanghai Airport and experiencing how PUSHY, ARROGANT and RUDE the Chinese are... I will never visit or transit there again. It was the worst airport experience of my life. Not to mention that they bused us to our jet on the tarmac and made us all exit the bus in the pouring rain (no umbrellas given) only to make us stand there for 20 minutes before allowing us to board the plane soaking wet for our 5 hour flight. CHINA SUCKS
I was in Detroit and was asking the exact same questions? Why isn't anyone maintaining these buildings? I was also in Vancouver, British Columbia, and on East Hastings Street, the buildings were falling apart. I asked, why isn't anyone fixing it? Is it the culture of non-caring? Maybe it is the "mentality" of the people. Maybe it symbolizes the lack of pride: A very conflicting idea. This is the problem because these buildings are still in use and no one wants to maintain it. No one is willing to help. People visiting Detroit and East Vancouver will be brutally wondering why no one is maintaining these buildings. Don't you see the bias????
Also in a Communist country people are encouraged to spy and rat on each other to the authorities. As a result everyone tries to remain invisible. Do what everyone else does. Don’t suggest an idea, an improvement, let everyone decide, like the problem with replacing the light bulb. Nobody wants to step forward and say I will pay for the bloody light bulb. You might get reported as being dissatisfied with the government and the way things are.
lol at 4:05 when asking about "how old is this building?" the guy probably didn't want to give an answer for fear that he'd get taxed for each year building had been standing, cause oppressive Gov. plus out-of-control taxes will do that to folks.
A real eye-opener, I am surprised. A lot of concrete like where I am in Mexico, but wow, in worse shape! Not keeping something up, because it is "not theirs", how does that fit with the "communal" way of life? Once again we see what it means to be communist, it is top down, and far from communal. Very sad. Good you guys were able to report this as now in Jan. 2019 foreigners are fleeing China and he government makes sure they know they are not welcome any longer.
Just for the sake of discussion... this is a problem that I have observed in the Philippines as well... making for an absolutely horrible appearance of the capital, Manila, in general and was always a sore spot for me. Most of it was due to the american occupation and their introduction of the widespread use of corrugated iron roofs and concrete blocks/cement. Before that, the locals used materials readily available to them which was bamboo and roof thatches made of palm leaves which looked gorgeous. The hot & humid weather favors rot /mildew but back then it was a given that they had to change their bamboo panelling/ roof thatches regularly. With colonialization and said imposition of other building materials which made more sense for the colonialists and brought them profit AND the inevitable destruction of the colonized people`s identity / culture together with countless other factors like abject poverty & society being restructured to just be a vassal/ cheap supplier of raw materials comes the present state the country is in...
I`m thinking the iron hand of communism and after that relentless capitalism may have had the same effect + their focus on short term gains, money. Anyway, I love your work, more power to you and your projects and please keep safe-!
Its the same in Russia. Communism does this to people. There is no sense of community, common ownership or accountability. All that was removed with communism. You were forced to do things and when you are no longer forced, nothing gets done.
Alright. I'm not worried about China anymore. If they can't maintain anything, all those skyscrapers, military bases, everything else, are just going to fall apart. Then, no problem. I do worry FOR China though.
Communism ruins the spirit of the people. Communism ruins individuality. Communism ruins responsibility. The government owns everything. The people own nothing. Your can't do anything without government permission. . Socialism turns into Communism.Communism turns into Fascism. Fascism turns into tyranny. China wants to take total control of the USA by the year 2049. Our politicians have been selling our country out to the Chinese. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama administrations are the ones primarily responsible for this. Do you want to live like the Chinese people?
Guys, do you have brains? What can the video actually prove, by shotting some shitty places where obviously no people living there anymore. I am coming from China's village area, this is totally normal for all the world. Why are you so excited seeing these places? 真是脑残
Ugh, ugh, and again folks, ugh!! Communism and atheism are two completely different and separate things.
Let's start with communism, which is a social and governmental concept. More social in theory, but far more governmental in reality.
True Communists (those who would likely choose to live in a commune with other like-minded communists) believe that all people should share all or most (non-personal...i.e. not spouses) resources; including food, money, equipment, work, housing, etc. They believe that the community should come before the individual, and that, by dedicating the majority of effort and resources to the wellbeing of the community, all of the people are better served and have more fulfilled lives. This may be a lovely, some might say utopian concept, but it goes completely against the way 99.999999% of Humans are wired...and the way reality actually tends to work.
Communist regimes (not necessarily including the originators of any particular communist regime, as they may well have been True Communists...at least, initially) simply tout the aforementioned "glories" of communism because it is a perfect vehicle for control of the masses and, since they do not have to live under the rules they impose on those masses, it's an ideal situation...for them. Remember that, since these are always a single-party system, there is no available avenue for descension. I should also mention that True Communism, as envisioned by True Communists, has very little to do with the real-world communist regimes that exists in places like China, Russia (and the former USSR), Cuba, and North Korea. Again, True Communism is a social system which has, in its purest form, a shared “everyone has an equal voice” type of governance structure; where communist regimes are invariably totalitarian (usually autocratic) governments where the government sets the rules “for the good of the people” and the actual people have very little or no input in the making of those rules. In short True Communism is a social concept where the people believe that good of all comes before the individual and communism as it occurs in reality, is a governmental structure that oppresses and abuses the people for the good of the ruling class.
Now, quite apart from Communism or any other social or governmental construct, atheism is a religious belief system. Yes, BELIEF system… Since there is no rational, empirical proof of the existence of a supreme being, anyone who believes that there is a God (regardless of name) does so purely through faith. They believe because they believe. Likewise, anyone who believes that there is NOT a God, also does so on faith, as there is no rational, empirical proof of the non-existence of a supreme being. The continuous casting of stones to and from "believers" and "non-believers" is, in my opinion, quite absurd; since they are both believers…just in different beliefs.
I feel morally obligated to mention that there is a third camp, as far as religion is concerned, and that is agnosticism. Agnostics are of the opinion that, since there is no rational, empirical proof of the existence OR non-existence of a supreme being, they cannot simply “choose” to believe either way, since belief (either way) would be based on a lack of information and purely on faith…which they cannot bring themselves to do. In short, their stance is that you cannot believe in something simply because others say you should; there must be real-world, substantiated reasons. As a note, this does not preclude agnostics from believing in many of the tenants of any number of religions (example, the “Golden Rule”) since these can be shown to be reasonable tenants to which civil populations should adhere…frankly, most of it is common sense (you know, that most uncommon of commodities). Please, do not confuse or lump agnostics with atheists…just because a person does not fervently believe that there is a God does not mean that they fervently believe that there is not one! We (yep) simply hold the opinion that, with current information, belief in either is untenable.
Now, getting back to the connection between communism and religion in general; communism, as a concept, does not preclude belief in a supreme being. In fact, I would judge that most True Communists are probably devout "believers". I dare say that most, if not all, of the communes started by and with Americans have had evangelical roots. However, communist regimes do tend to push an atheistic point of view because, as stated by at least one other poster, it allows the State to stand as the supreme "faith" rather than some (much more difficult to control) religion, with its own rules of behavior and agendas.
Love the videos, guys! Whether you stay in China or move on to other locals, please keep pumping 'em out!!
That is bad that the people there don't care about the places they live at and I guess that it has to do with the Communist system they live under. The government can move them at any time and they don't have any say about it where as in countries like Japan, or South Korea the people there own their property and not the government.
I love this edgy look! I was so excited that her hair, even as short as it is now, was still able to be put into the fun and trendy dutch pigtail braids! Instead of braiding to the ends, I ended them in close together pigtails at the nape of her neck. After I finished braiding, I tugged on the outsides of the braid gently to loosen them and make them a little messy and fun! Since she doesn’t have enough hair to tie around the elastics, I made sure to use elastics that matched her hair so they blend in as much as possible. You could also cover them with clips or bows! A view from the back of her Dutch pigtail braids! A great braid for short hair is a micro accent braid! My biggest tip for braiding short hair would be to add in small slices of hair rather than big ones. I did a small (micro) braid along a slightly curved deep part for anther cute and edgy look! You could also do another one next to it if you wanted a little more to the look, but I really liked how simple this one was. You can see how the part curves a little better from this view of the back. I ended the braid close to the head with an elastic that matched her hair. For our fourth style, we did a 3/4 french braid! Super simple but also super cute! You could do any type braid! It would also look cute using a Dutch braid or a fishtail braid! I loved the side view of this braid! I will for sure be doing this one next time she goes to gymnastics or swimming, whichever comes first! Our last braid is two four dutch lace braids into two loops in the back. Start off by parting the hair down the middle. On each side of the part, do a dutch lace braid, adding hair in from only the section closest to the part as you braid. Tie the braids together in the back with a small elastic and before you pull the hair all the way through to make a ponytail, leave it in a cute little loop! If the hair is a little bit longer, you could do a tiny bun. Repeat this directly under the braid you just did so you have two rows and two loops.
We will have to be coming up with lots more short hair braids in the future, so be sure to give us a follow over at our newly redesigned blog Abella’s Braids to see more as we do them!
Thanks for reading! See you again this time next month!
love these ideas! My daughter recently cut about 8 inches off her hair and is loving her shorter hair, but I’ve mostly been at a loss of what to do with it! Thanks!
Abella has been begging me for at least a year, probably closer to two years, to cut her hair. I posted a photo on Instagram with a question in the caption. “Abella has been begging me to cut her hair short, do you think I should let her do it?” Almost everyone said “YES!” So thanks to all of the good advice from my followers, we did it…and we haven’t regretted it for a second! I think she looks so cute and it really fits her personality! It’s for sure a lot harder to come up with braids but it’s pushed me to step out of my comfort zone! We wanted to show you that even if you have short hair, there are lots of cute braids you can still do!
This first braid (above) is three ladder braids. Start out with a part deep to one side. On the side with less hair, start out by doing a waterfall braid along the part. Under that one, do another waterfall braid, but incorporate the waterfall pieces from the one above it as you braid. Under that one, do a french braid. Incorporate the waterfall pieces from the second braid as you go. We braided each one to the ends and used elastics that matched her hair to tie them off.