Thursday, January 6, 2011

Regarding Landlords

I met a guy last year whose business was real estate. He would travel back and forth between the States and Shenyang selling properties in China. This guy shed some interesting light on landlords, explaining that the vast majority of Chinese people have no trust at all for the stock market, and have even less trust for banks. With the insanely rich getting insanely richer, they are having the difficult dilemma of where to put all of their newfound wealth.


Now this actually explains quite a bit.

For one, it explains how I'm able to look out my window and count appx. 20 cranes of new high-rises going up outside my apartment window while at the same time apartment buildings less than a year old are at minimum capacity.

It also explains why landlords in China are such jerks. To them, being a landlord is not a position of responsibility. They don't really need the money, and in fact, any rent you actually do pay them is just a bonus. The wealthy are counting on the value of the property only to continue to sky rocket, and so much of the insane amount of construction that is taking place is sheer speculation.

But because properties are owned and rented out by the rich and its income is seen as peripheral, tenants and their complaints about....mold, shoddy construction, ceilings falling apart, even the junk that the owner decided to store in the apartment before move in day, are largely ignored and are seen as petty interruptions.


This mindset is grossly apparent to me as I sit in my apartment where my foster child sleeps on the floor because our landlord ignores all pleas to move his monster beds (yes, beds are plural here) out of the one room he can sleep in.

It amazes me that individuals in positions where their livelihood is a result of service to people so often grow callous to the very call to serve that the livelihood stems from. The whole point of their position is written off as a peripheral inconvenience.

But as a teacher, I still hate grading papers.

Hugely inconvenient.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Regarding Sick Daughters

I never got the movie that has the daughter getting hopelessly sick, followed by the father going against all odds to discover the miracle cure, leaving the entire family together, happily ever after. Lifetime movie cliche's are somewhat nauseating to me. The reality is that when the typical father's daughter is hurting with sickness, he is at the mercy of providence and the nearest medical facility.

Or just providence.

Personally, these are the moments in life when I'm struck by my relative helplessness in life. They also tend to be the moments that I work to avoid the most.

Our detestation of being helpless begins early. Already my daughter gives me 'the look' when I put the pacifier in her mouth and don't let her do it alone. I think we want to establish that we are something significant, and on some level independent and self-sufficient.

Honestly our desire to set ourselves up as independent would be a humorous hyperbole if it wasn't so grossly futile a dream. From the cellular level, where all it takes to end a life is one cell decide its not going to stop reproducing, up to the cosmic level of our planet depending on insanely precise mechanisms to hold everything in place just so, any concept of independence is sickeningly arrogant.

Which begs the question:

Why does feeling out of control throw me off balance?

I'd laugh if it wasn't so serious an issue.