Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Construction Boom Noises

Click the pix for larger picture.

Our city, like much of China, is experiencing a construction boom.  Buildings, mostly apartments, are going up by the dozens all over the city.  I have been able to experience first hand a modest sized construction project right outside my back balcony.  My balcony is accessed from my bedroom, which when we first moved in, provided a peaceful place where I could enjoy some peaceful minutes in the morning, listening to the birds sing in the trees around the seldom used navy condos next door. 
Last spring I awoke one morning at 6 am, not to my alarm, but to the alarming sound of some kind of slow, rhythmic pounding.  I discovered the two story buildings that formed a kind of barrier to the street were being demolished. A tin wall cordoned off the project, and the buildings that housed cheap office furniture shops, and a two woman hair salon came down, rather quickly I thought.
We left for the summer, and the contractor apparently did too, because when we returned, nothing had happened.  However, the project began anew within a couple of days of our return.  During the fall and into this winter a nine story building has been erected.  It’s your basic concrete, rebar and brick structure that is the mainstay of all Chinese cities.  It proceeded at about a story a week. First, there was lots of pounding and sawing as forms were put together.  Then external scaffolding and netting to keep anything from falling too far from outside the building and beaning someone not involved in the construction.  Two elderly construction elevators were erected as the building slowly rose to 9 stories.  These ancient lifts rattle, squeak, and make a marvelous grinding noise whenever they are in operation.  
This is a noisy project.  There is pounding and machinery.  What is especially endearing is the fact that they often work around the clock.  Sometimes it’s just a couple of guys, but they use the lifts and tend to move a lot of material during what would normally be a time for sleeping.
The finish work has been going on now for about 6 weeks.  The netting obscures the work being done, but I’m sure that fine finish work is happening. Wiring, plumbing, windows, doors, and mass quantities of tile are being installed which requires constant use of the ancient lift.  Either that, or someone just enjoys riding in it.
At 6 am the work day begins.  The lift squeaks and grinds into motion.  Then someone begins the fine finish work of pounding on a large, hollow steel object with a sledge hammer. Grinders grind, tile saws cut, and the day begins.  Work is finished sometime around 10 pm.  Unlike the rest of Guangdong province, there is no 3 to 4 hour lunch with a nap. It’s one hour and back to work.  Taking a nap these days is a challenge.
This project should end sometime in the next couple of months, I think. I hope.  I pray.

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