By the Skin of our Teeth


Well we have the official word – we are safe (at least for now). They have posted signs around the area stating the building numbers they are going to demolish and thankfully we are not on it.

The plan is to demolish all the building to our north up to our back wall, which does mean that we potentially could have an entrance to our north which would be good, and since they are demolishing to create a green belt we may even be able to make use of the grass on that side. :)

This good news was marred somewhat though by the landlord, clearly under the influence of his overbearing wife, who pitched up asking for more money. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for us, he can’t do anything since we all signed the contract. Clearly he thought that our debatably improved location should earn him more money…

Balancing on the Razor’s Edge

As many people now know I recently left my job to, among other things, open a restaurant here in Beijing. Things have been progressing in a more or less forward direction until today. We were standing in the shell of the building that will soon be our restaurant overseeing the construction when two men wandered in and announced that they were from the demolition company charged with demolishing the whole area! As you can imagine, this came as something of a surprise, and also meant that our discussions of the interior design minutae were suddenly obsoleted.

Xuduan and Will then went into a phone frenzy trying to dig out the facts from wherever they could find them. Xuduan managed eventually to get hold of someone who told her that the plan was to demolish all buildings thirty meters back from the ring road to our north, to create a lovely grass area next to the road… We then imediately ran outside and up the side street between our hutong and the second ring road armed with a tape measure, and proceeded to measure from the building to our north back towards our place. The result of this proved that the northern most point of our building lies approximately thirty eight meters from the road giving us a supposed eight meter safety net – provided the facts we have are even accurate. Our last attempt to get more informaton was to charge off, scooters throttled to the max, bound for the office of commerce which was unfortunately closed for the weekend by the time we got there which means we have to now wait for monday to learn more…

The conclusion of all this is such that we are either (a) about to be better positioned, right by the second ring road with the potential of a northern entrance across a nice grass lawn, or (b) completely fucked, and about to be rather substantially out of pocket. Hopefully Monday will provide as with a concrete answer either way. I will let you know.

MONDAY UPDATE: The guy who can tell us is in a meeting all day today, so we now have to wait till tommorrow.