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- FNR tonight
- Saturday Natooke is having people by all afternoon for beer special, BBQ (brai-style, ie. bring-your-own-meat), and there will be a string quartet to set the mood, playing classical music LIVE and hopefully some surprises also.
- Sunday afternoon @ 2pm a wheel clock building workshop with 2nd Hand 2nd Story
I recently spoke with an Chinese friend who has done a fair bit of business with renovation, here and abroad, and is by all accounts a seasoned business man. He warned that the with the more common apartment renovations one is still dealing with the building infrastructure and typical construction longevity, which makes higher quality improvements less worth it in the long run. Even though he could contract his own work and do it better he still just outsources because the added costs aren’t a sound investment.
Regarding building or renovating in the countryside, he was of the opinion that one would encounter a level of resistance based on local standards that would be very difficult to overcome. Also, that city folk with money don’t often think to build vacation homes in China because of the challenges related to policies of general property ownership and hukou issues. Many would rather invest in real estate abroad because they would actually own it and could will it to the descendants. According to him the few that do invest in property like we’re talking about have to pay off local officials, often have to have the property in someone else’s name, and risk losing their investment due to what I understood as eminent domain.
and keep in mind: one day soon, some random day, they may come ‘force’ the sale of said countryside house, and your renovations go out the window (maybe literally, but more likely, crushed under migrant worker hammers). Property ‘owned’ isn’t the same as property ‘owned’ in other places
You’re right Rick.
I haven’t researched this extensively but the only direct knowledge I have of such a company existing is of a Swedish couple who opened a construction company up on the plateau. They consult with energy efficient building materials and methods like insulation, radiant floor heating, thermal-rated multi-pane windows, etc. Their business isn’t doing super great even in spite of the fact that Tibetans by and large have lots of money and the impact of what they’re trying to promote would be huge for locals’ living environment. They told me that with nearly every one of their customers its a difficult sell. Why spend so much on high quality materials when the same money could be used to build a whole second or third storey with the old standard?
Interesting topic for sure. The business man friend I spoke with seemed to believe that any change would be decades away, if ever, considering the policies and laws of the presiding regime.
Rick, are you sure that is how it works? I know a few people who have built on land they have the rights to and they did what they wanted. Limitiations were more about lack of knowledge rather than not getting the correct permits or authorizations. Even a few projects on public land, two I was involved with directly, required no permits or approval or inspection. When someone has a di quan zheng and the government or a developer wants to repossess the land, they actually follow laws to buy it back from the holder of the certificate. This is why after property is set for demolition many homeowners set out remodeling like mad to increase the “value” of their property to get more ‘chai qian’. This remodeling follows the formula set out by the aforementioned laws and just increases payout they collect. Actual improvements to property on old construction or new wouldn’t just be a flush of money down the toilet.
An American friend here in Sichuan had a home built in the countryside completely to USA building code standards. It was expensive as hell and a great challenge to find the appropriate materials but they successfully did it without a prohibitive amount of time, paperwork, permits, or inspections.
Wu-wei, if you have a family here with some connections that can help navigate setting up such a business, I think your idea is worth exploring. Hell, I’d be interested in being involved. Especially your idea for fabricating furniture, cabinetry, or fixtures to the caliber you indicated. It’ll be a tough sell for sure, considering what you’d be competing with, but there is a higher end market here for quality work. I’ve been in the homes of a number of wealthy people, who know what building standards are like outside of China, and they are frustrated that their expensive new home or apartment has drains that constantly clog, electric circuitry that isn’t safe, and other shit that looks bad and falls apart. Most other people don’t even know that there’s an alternative.
Be warned though that finding craftsman (carpenters, masons, electricians, plumbers) that won’t cut corners or will be receptive to learning a new standard of doing things will likely be your biggest hurdle.
Rick, I wish there was a “Like” button for comments on this forum. Charlie…?
We are doing a free group ride into the countryside this Sunday if you are interested. Come by Natooke anyway and we can help you get mobile and provide some information about navigating around Chengdu. If we don’t have what you’re interested in we can point you in the direction of someone who does.
Cycling is by far the fastest, most convenient way to get around the city and beyond. Like Bellamy said, there are lots of cycling related events of all sorts all the time. We usually post whatever we hear about here translated into English, organized by us or not.
This post made me sorry i bought a scooter
To be honest, we are sorry you bought a scooter too.
Ride tonight!!!! Cruise begins at 8p, fast ride at 10p. Come out and see the debut of Natooke成都’s first custom, pimp-ass road bike: compact geometry, ultegra groupset, carbon fork, H+son wheelset, Deda cockpit, Brooks Imperial saddle. Custom line work and pinstrips. So…Fast!!!!!!
Thanks again Rob!!!
Tomorrow’s the day, anyone else interested? If so meet at Natooke成都 @7am and we’ll head over to the starting location together.
It is an out and back in the same day. However, if at any time you want to turn back, the return route is identical. My understanding is that many riders won’t be doing the whole 160, while those that complete the route will take anywhere from 8-12 hours. This is the first time we are participating in this sort of event by ROCN so I am just going on descriptions found online and when the organizer visited the shop.
The foreign woman in the photo above is Bobbi Fisher, ROCN’s “international relations executive”. I met her in Longquan on a ride and she seemed pretty cool. She is a big advocate for women’s cycling and helps organize ROCN’s events.
Regardless, there are already 5 people joining through this post and visiting the shop, likely a few more. We can just break off as a group anytime and head back early if the whole thing is lame.
Love is in the air!!!! See you tonight!!!!
We (Jacob Klink and I at Natooke Chengdu) do rides and cycling events every week including a group ride, casual cruise and fast ride, every Friday night starting at 8pm, bicycle polo at the Provincial gymnasium every Saturday afternoon at 4, as well as other longer rides on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. All the events are free.
There is a ROCN event (local cycling club) on Saturday Feb, 22nd that should be a lot of fun. There is already a bunch of people interested in joining. I’ll create a separate post later today or tomorrow with more information and a map.
Group Ride tonight, setting out at 8pm from Natooke. Fast ride @10pm.
Ride tonight!!! @8pm
Friday Bike Love!!! The cruise will set out around 8 and the fast ride at 10pm.
To anyone interested in doing the Longquan Hill Climb, there are only 5 more days to register. Registration ends on January 1st. Tonight is a great opportunity to register early. If you are interested and want to know more about the event please come by the shop or call.