On June 20th 1900, in response to widespread foreign encroachment upon China's national affairs, Chinese nationalists launched the so-called Boxer Rebellion in Peking. Calling themselves I Ho Ch'uan, or "the Righteous and Harmonious Fists," the nationalists occupied Peking, killed several Westerners, including German ambassador Baron von Ketteler, and besieged the foreign legations in the diplomatic quarter of the city.
The sidewalks are being redone down the road a bit from my apartment. Old stones are removed, new sectional curbs are put in place, a base of sand is put down, and then the pavers are set into place with wooden and rubber mallets. Half-pavers are pre-cut. If more precise fitting is necessary, some specialists with a power saw will come through toward the end of the job and take care of the task. After the pavers are all in place, sand is spread over them to fill the seams, with the remaining sand then swept-off. The work happens all through the day and into the night.
To keep the wheelbarrows and other equipment safe when the crew does call it quits for the evening, the equipment is linked together by a metal cable, and a guard sleeps on a nearby cot.
You can see the unfinished sidewalk in the right foreground of this shot. In the background, there is some sand that was spread on a more complete section. I think that the gentlemen were loading excess pavers onto the truck.
Most sidewalks I’ve seen in the US poured concrete. If pavers are used for some work, they are usually delivered on pallets, which are loaded and unloaded by forklifts.
In the US, we have the legend of John Henry, who was pitted against machine in a steel-driving contest. He won the contest but died soon after from exhaustion. The machine then went-on to replace men and make lives “easier”. In China, there are — quite literally — still people driving steel by hand.
Which isn’t to say that there isn’t a lot of high-tech stuff happening here.
But, I think there is more of a balanced approach. Perhaps, yes, because labor is so cheap, but also because folks might think that doing work, even manual work, is better than sitting around and watching television.
Okay, it is late, I’m tired, and the wife got home a wee bit ago. Perhaps more later. In the meantime, comments would be appreciated.
These are itinerant beekeepers who are setup just outside of the Fifth Ring Road. The second photograph is of one of the drinking ponds that the beekeepers setup… it was a very hot day today.
Shanshan was concerned about possible contaminants being in the honey, due to the lack of regulation on the industry, and wouldn’t let me make a purchase.
I took this panorama whilst waiting for the 671 on the way home Thursday. It is a composite of six shots with my iPhone 4. Besides doing the joining with Photoshop CS5.1 and the cropping and exporting with Lightroom 4.1, there was no other work done on the photo. Yes, the sky looked like that and the traffic was that light.
If you click on the image, it’ll take you to a larger version on flickr.
Okay, I threw the Oxford comma into the title so I could say that I, well, don’t like it. I think that “Man, Child and Striker” would be understandable enough for most folks reading this blog. And, since Safire… sorry, Mr Safire… ain’t around no more to correct mine English, well, ramble, ramble, ramble.
btw, the hand on the right side of the portal — because of both the position and the clarity of the shot — makes me think of the portraits Stieglitz did of O’Keeffe.