Waking up at 0730 in the morning and realising today is the first day of being alone in Yunnan… Feeling nervous and excited. The breakfast here is very different to what I used to eat in UK. They do savoury breakfast with soup noodles and dishes (diced chicken or pig), while in UK I used to have granola and milk…
We stopped at YongKang for lunch and picked up another worker. After around two hours driving to Banka, the weather got so bad that it is raining so hard. We went directly to the office at Banka instead. The office got 3 working desks and 3 sitting benches. Everyone is playing their own gadgets, but not games on internet, but the really old school window XP version of poker game. And I spent time playing the soduku on my battery-never-die phone (for the Chinese sim card).
Once I got back to the hotel, shortly being informed about the schedule of today’s site visit. The driver is surprisingly young to me, around the same age as me. After a short chat with him during the journey, knowing that he is actually the son of the contractor. He did his study in Chengdu, SiChuan and came here to work for his father. He then said, being at school is much better than working.
After one hour of boringness, the rain has finally stopped and we are finally reaching to the construction site. On the way to the site, the road condition went really bad after the heavy rain. Our van was stuck on the midway, and all the passengers left the van, leaving the driver on board. But after around 10 minutes, the van managed to go through the mud but all the passengers were left behind on the other side. A while later, there is one worker coming towards us with his motorbike. I am lucky to have the chance to ride on his motorbike. The situation is quite funny. There was a drill at the back seat, therefore I need to hold the drill with one hand and holding the worker’s shoulder with the other hand. As soon as I arrived on the other side, the worker ignored the rest of the crews and left to the site. We were all laughing because the crews on the other side were complaining and were forced to take off their shoes to walk over the mud water.
Finally, we have arrived the construction site. They have finished putting on the wood panels around the framework and will be pouring in the concrete on the next day. When I was concentrating my work on the site, there is one worker from Myanmar asked me, do you really come from Hong Kong? I was really surprised and said, Of course I do. And he replied, this is his first time seeing someone from Hong Kong. He said he is so honoured to see someone from Hong Kong over here.
The crews and I waited at the site until late night, at around 12am. Due to the constant bad weather condition and road condition, the transportation of the concrete is stuck in the midway. Workers and drivers got off from their vehicles and clean the road together, hoping to finish the transportation before tomorrow morning. At the same time, some other crews and I were waiting for them to come back, chilling at the outdoor terrace of a teacher, Mr. Lu’s home, which is just locating opposite to the primary school. The setting is very simple, outdoor lamp connecting with the indoor socket plug, a table, few benches and stools, and of course, Chinese tea. There are only four of us, we chatted a lot about the construction, the inside stories of the contractor and also some of their thought about the school and village. Since my mandarin is very limited, I could barely understand their sayings. They mentioned about the school condition in the past, students need to cook their own food at the kitchen, while nowadays we got workers to cook for the kids, kids are lucky now. So what about the kids in Hong Kong…?
Luckily the rain stops at around 11pm and we managed to finish the transportation before midnight. Another two hours back to Yongde, so I got back to hotel at around 2am. The driver said, driving at the night time is actually safer on the mountain because you can see the light of the incoming car really clearly, and also traffic during the night time is less congested. I asked, do you always travel back home at this time? So late! He answered, today is considered as early, and normally they will drive back at around 4am or even seeing the sunrise on the way back to Yongde. I was jaw dropped. He smiled and added on, and sometimes I might drive to other construction sites on the next day morning, at around 7am.
Written from Juliette
早上07:30醒来，意识到今天是独自一人来云南的第一天...感到紧张和兴奋。 这里的早餐是非常不同的，我曾经在英国吃过。 他们做咸味早餐汤面和菜（切成小方块的鸡肉或猪肉），而在英国我以前有格兰诺拉麦片和牛奶...
我想今天对我来说是一个好的开始。今天 天气惊人地好，可以看见白色云彩与蓝天。 永德是云南的一个小镇，我想你可以通过步行探索整个小镇。 尽管城市的规模不大，到处还是看到博物馆，商店，办公室和酒店。 行人路面宽阔，为人们提供休闲空间。 人们坐在凳子上，打羽毛球或者躺在长凳上，甚至把那些不重要的银行信件或收据放在一个大铜罐里燃烧（而我们通常使用碎纸机）。
一次我回到酒店，很快就被告知今天的实地考察时间表。 司机对我来说是惊人的年轻，与我同龄。 在旅途中与他聊天后，知道他实际上是承包商的儿子。 他在四川成都学习，来到这里为父亲工作。 然后他说，在学校比工作好得多。
我们在永康停留吃午饭，并载了另一个工人。 经过两个小时的车程，到半开，天气变得如此糟糕，雨下的很大。 我们直接去半开的办公室。 办公室有3个工作台和3个坐凳。 每个人都在玩自己的小玩意，但不是互联网上的游戏，而是旧窗口XP版的扑克游戏。 我在我的电量用不完的手机上（为中国的sim卡）玩soduku。
过了无聊的一个小时，雨终于停了下来，我们到达了施工现场。 在去现场的路上，大雨后道路状况变得很糟糕。 我们的货车停在了中间，所有的乘客离开了货车，留下司机在车上。 但大约10分钟后，面包车成功通过泥路，但所有的乘客都留在了另一边。 过了一会儿，有一个工人用他的摩托车来到我们身边。 我很幸运能骑他的摩托车。 情况是很有趣。 在后座有一个钻头，因此我需要用一只手握住钻头，用另一只手握住工人的肩膀。 不久后我到达另一边，工人忽略了剩下的队员，并离开了现场。 我们都在笑，因为另一边的队员们抱怨，他们被迫脱下鞋子走在泥水上。
最后，我们到达了施工现场。 他们已经完成了放在框架周围的木板，并将在第二天浇注在混凝土中。 当我上网专注我的工作时，有一个来自缅甸的工人问我，你真的来自香港吗？ 我真的很惊讶，说，当然。 他回答说，这是他第一次见到来自香港的人。 他说他很高兴在这里看到一个香港人。
幸运的是，雨在晚上11点左右停止，我们在午夜前完成了运输。 另外花了两个小时回到永德，所以我在凌晨两点回到酒店。 司机说，夜间在山上驾驶实际上更安全，因为你可以看到入车的灯光明显，而且夜间的交通也较少拥挤。 我问，你总是在这个时间回家吗？ 因为实在是太晚了！ 他回答说，今天被认为是早，通常他们会在凌晨4点左右开车，甚至在回到永德的路上看日出。 我下巴都要掉下来了。 他微笑着补充说，有时我可能会在第二天早上，早上7点左右开车到其他建筑工地。