Thursday, March 16, 2006


How to take a utopian Shanghai real-estate ad illustration, and turn it into a closer approximation of the truth:

  1. Take your colored pencils and fill in one-third of the balconies with glass, brick or plastic panelling. If there is lattice work, just stick the bricks in haphazardly, don't bother to cement it up or anything.
  2. Use a fine-tipped black gel-pen and draw in laundry bars on the rest of the balconies, hanging from the bottom of the balcony above them. Then use markers or colored pencils to generously add in drying clothes.
  3. To each air-conditioning unit (add these in if they are missing), use a pencil or white-out pen to add cabling that dangles loosely, and add water stains from drippy units to the walls.
  4. That glass ceiling over the front door of the apartment building? That's right, it won't stay clean for long. Use a light brown to add a permanent dust "frosting".
  5. Park bicycles all over the lawn.
  6. Use an eraser to turn green grass into a dry, tan carpet, and take most of the leaves off those trees. The combination of harsh Shanghai winters and absent sprinkler systems can semi-kill even the hardiest lawn (though I don't think landscapers here even try).
  7. You might as well just use scissors to cut out the fountains, as the odds on the lottery system that determines their state of on-offness has such bad odds that even the math-handicapped wouldn't bet on them.

Optionally, add the sound of hammering and drilling and a few migrant workers trekking across the parched lawn toward the apartment they have been hired to finish furnishing, and you have a pretty accurate picture!

(Note: this is only for the new apartment developments; I live in Gumei 7-cun, built in 1996 and we have no lawns, but also no hammering.)


At Mar 17, 2006, 3:51:00 PM, Blogger jenn said:

Amusing post. :) It's still pretty alright here at my estate (except for the occasional drilling and hammering) though..what do lawns have to do with hammering? :D


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