OSHA where are you now?


DSCN8852 (Small)

Window cleaning taken to a new level–with a rope dangling from the rooftop, a small 2×4 to sit on, and a bucket of water…and this building has 6 floors!

On several occasions I have seen similar getups in the shopping district (and sorely wished I had my camera), where one guy is dangling precariously on a wall, fixing a sign or repairing something structural, and he is held in place with a rope around his waist by his workmate standing below adjusting the tension on the rope.  It certainly adds a new dimension to trusting your coworker! 

The bridge is out near our place for construction, but the bold pedestrian/cyclist can still get through on the rickety thing made of some DONG-SHE (I just love the Chinese word for “stuff”) that looks like pieces of sheetrock that prevents you from splashing into the flowing river below.  No, I don’t think that a taxi or a bus could squeeze through that one, it’s way too narrow…

Thanks to that construction, traffic nearby is very backed up, and a couple times we’ve sat in a cab at a red light for 3 or 4 cycles.  But it’s never boring! 

The other day as I was coming back from a Dr’s appointment with 3 kids in the backseat, I noticed that an entire bus full of people about 3 feet beside us was being entertained by DiDi making goofy faces and playing peekaboo with them, waving and similar gestures. 

At the same time, the girls were looking out the other window and yelling “ni hao” to the folks in the car on the other side of us, who were laughing and yelling back.  Then they were drawn to the 8ish year old boy in the car behind that, who was leaning out the window and yelling stuff in English, before he jumped out of the car and ran up to us and stuck his hand inside the window to tease the girls, and sprinted back to his car before the light changed. 

We inched forward a few more feet, and the bus moved closer, less than 6 inches from our cab.  The same friendly faces were now within spitting distance (literally–there’s a lot of reasons to use an umbrella, rain or shine around here), and ladies were talking to us from that side as well.  The taxi driver was getting a kick out of the whole thing.  Traffic jams can actually be a very social activity, at least if you are a foreigner with 3 young children…

Oh, and on the topic of traffic, the parentals finally found bike helmets that look like they might tolerate a bump from an ancient bus or a taxi wedging through…so now all 5 of us are legal.  But now that I am starting to look 7 months pregnant (which I am), the grandmas are starting to give me more grief for a) getting on a bike; b) going outside in 70 degree weather without a coat; c) not eating enough organ meats…ok that one I might have made up but I really have no clue what advice they’re giving me in the courtyard or at the market, so it could very well be that or worse…



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