A couple of weekends ago we went to the 100 days party of our friends’ baby. He was born in mid December so he is 3.5 months younger than Baby A. but they already weigh the same! We even got a hand-me-down onesie that was too narrow for him and that Baby A. can wear!! I don’t know what’s in Chinese women’s breast milk to produce such big babies! My downstairs neighbour has a baby two days older than Baby A. and he weighs THREE MORE KILOS.


Another day we went to bury Nico’s ashes. It was about time. We buried them under a tree in a little park that should be safe from any construction works as there is a big high voltage tower in the middle. Nico’s neighbour for eternity is a friend’s dog who is also buried there.


Last Sunday it was a blue sky day and those days are not to be wasted as they are so scarce. I noticed our district is full of cherry trees. Are they new? I had not noticed them before. Maybe they were planted so Chinese people don’t feel the need to go to Japan on holiday, hehe.




A few days ago, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and one of China’s richest people (also #21 richest person in the world according to Forbes) made waves when he openly supported the 996 working system. 996 means working from 9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week, and it’s common in China’s tech industry. Yes, you’re reading it right. That means working 72 hours per week. It’s important to note that this is not even legal in China as, according to the labour law, labourers shall work for no more than eight hours a day and no more than 44 hours a week on average. Also, any overtime should be paid, but guess what, in most cases it’s not.


“Thanks to your overtime work and sleepless nights I’m driving a Ferrari. That’s what you young people have to do, gain experience. I brought you some apples”.


In China there is also a third reason why you would stay in the office for longer, apart from the two that I mentioned before (being a slacker or having too much to do): it doesn’t look good to leave the office before your boss does. I hate this so much. I’ve seen it many times: people that have literally nothing to do, but stay past their hour playing games or shopping in the computer until the boss is ready to leave. But what’s the point of staying if you don’t have anything to do?


Being a good worker is not living in the office. Working smart and being productive in the 8 hours you have per day is what makes you good! And working regularly for long hours doesn’t make you better in any way; in fact, attempts to quantify the relationship between hours worked and productivity found that employee output falls sharply after a 50-hour work-week, and falls off a cliff after 55 hours (quote from here). So, uh, this might seem counter intuitive, but… Jack Mas of the world, your businesses would perform better if your employees worked less hours, as their work would be of a better quality!


I guess I will never work for one of those huge fancy companies that expect people to put up with everything just for the “honour” of working there, but you know what? I’m totally fine with it. Work is important, but what’s the point of living to work?