September 29th, 2010

One of the things that surprises me here is...

One of the things that surprises me here is the amount of jerry-rigging that goes on in China. To all intents and purposes, there are plenty of places (on China's east coast at least) that are first world cities. I may grumble about the strange plumbing that people have or the odd things that people sell here, but the cities do feel like they're "proper cities" in the western mold, albeit with a Mediterranian mañana feel about them.

Once things are built, there's no sense that we better get something fixed if it goes wrong. As an example (or two), I was using the computer network in a school for a demonstration. I arrived a few minutes early to get my stuff together, get set up and generaly get sorted. It turned out that some of the fuses weren't working and we couldn't turn all the lights (or computers or a combination of the 2) on at the same time.

Now fair enough. This stuff happens. Nothing's perfect, but this guy I work with said he'd know about it for a while. Now don't get me wrong, I don't expect stuff to be fixed immediately, but how can a serior guy, and articulate, organised, disciplined guy let that happen? When is it ever a good idea to have $7500 worth of computers (at least) sitting idle? Or allow kids to work in the dark because we can't be bothered to get an electrician in?