Comparisons

The Chinese guy that jumped out of the window

The Chinese guy that jumped out of the window:
What most foreigners who come to China do not know, is that the installation of heating systems within buildings is dictated by a geographical divide. None of the cities and buildings beyond the Huai-Qin River/Mountain line in the South of China posses any form of heating. What they do possess however, due to the incredibly hot summers, are air conditioning units. Billions of air condition units! Whoever has been to Southern China knows that the outside of buildings is usually a wild conglomeration of AC units.

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Well, have you ever asked yourselves what happens when one of those AC units is not working anymore? Chinese buildings tend to be very high; usually  more than 25 floors. But since the AC units are installed in not very accessible areas and there is no “maintenance panel” to access them from inside the building, I witnessed the repair of a defective AC myself. The need to repair an AC unit is a quite frequent problem, because the summer is so hot and ACs are used constantly, they tend to break down or leak now and then.

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After the friendly Chinese repair guy ran out of options to fix the AC from the inside of the apartment, he took me a floor higher. Since my Chinese is not very good, I was very curious on how he intended to fix the AC from the outside. It turned out that he put on some sort of gear that certainly would not be allowed for any sort of climbing in Europe. Only secured with an old rope, I could not believe my eyes when he actually began to climb out of the window like some crazy lunatic!

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We were on the 27th floor of the building and I was already feeling dizzy looking out of the window. Even though I am afraid of heights, I continued to hand him his working stuff while he was cowering a floor below me on a small ledge, calmly facing nearly certain death if he would slip. I doubt the gear he used for “safety” would really prevent a free fall and my legs were certainly shakier than his.

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Yes, it is a loooong way down!