05.03.2010 - 05.03.2010 0 °F
So the Liu house deserves a blog page of its own.
Traditional houses here are built according to family size: when one first builds a home they set a basic foundation – in this case it’s two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, hall, storage room and open air atrium in the middle. As the Liu family grew, additional floors were built. The funny thing is the family numbers in at two parents and three (now grown) kids. You would think two floors would be adequate. Nope. There are five floors and only the first two are furnished. The top three are completely empty. The stairs go all the way up to the roof, which has a nice view of the area where you can also see the airport landing lights at night.
The house is solidly built of brick, mortar and tile. The doors and windows are stainless steel with double-paned glass and the exterior is covered in what we would consider 3” x 3” bathroom tiles.
The paradox is that the house still gets its water from a well located in the atrium. An electric pump fills a 200-gallon solar storage tank on the roof. Plumbed rooms have gas fired in-line heaters to compliment the solar heated water. Toilets are the traditional squat ones that require crafty use of leg muscles to “get it right”.
The neighbor’s houses are neatly nestled together with patches of tall bamboo, ponds and farmland surrounding. I noticed that the neighbors are very interactive with each other. They are frequently doing chores outside and have a nice community – something we lack in our neighborhood in Elk Grove. People in Guangzhou watch less TV and spend more time socializing.