The Builders in Guangzhou The builders were constructing a flat, I could hear them from where I slept, The flat was being constructed at two in the morning, So I ended up from Yawning to Frowning, The digging was loud and nearby, All I could do is but try to sleep here and sigh, There was loud noise outside, I wished I could find some place to hide.
Xiao Wen, working in Guangzhou: Copyright Navjot Singh
I have been woken up many times in China by the loud drilling and banging of hammers, sometimes as early as 2 a.m. in the morning! The above poem is written in regards to one particular incident I fondly remember. That time the noise from the construction work continued throughout the night. Now, in all fairness, I am kind of person that prefers to sleep in absolute quietness, and even the slightest of noise can disturb my sleep (unless if I am very tired/jet-lagged!!). However in this particular incident, it got to the stage where I had to get out of my flat at something like 2 a.m., in my pajamas, and told the builders in the street to just stop doing whatever they were doing. They all seemed confused as to why I had made this (polite) request, and somewhat surprised too. This probably was because no one before me had complained. After a few surprised looks at each other, thankfully they decided to stop, however to my astonishment, only for about 10 minutes before it all started again as if nothing had happened. I guess they most probably took a cigarette break! The noise was just painfully horrible, and in the morning I had this excruciating headache which forced me not to go to work that day. This was probably the worst case scenario, and the fact that even though I spoke clear and fluent Mandarin to the builders, I failed to understand why they just carried on. In actual fact, some other foreign expats have also complained about this problem. In retrospect, I do take my hat off to these guys because they are the pillars of China's booming economy, and are driving it 24 hours a day- but for us, poor foreigners who are used to living in a lesser noisy environment, it can be somewhat of a problem.
Here I share my thoughts and experiences during my travels, and how some things have affected my life as an expat and world traveller. This weblog runs in conjunction with my Official blog, which may not be visible in some countries due to local firewall restrictions, so in those cases this weblog may be read. The weblog also includes some of my press trip reports- most of which are not published on the official blog because of copyright issues. The weblog also contains articles that may be associated directly with a PR trip for a country, airline or a hotel. These are PR reviews done in relations with various companies.