Assistant Architect - Chapter 53

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 20:49:59]
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Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling


Chapter 53: Empty City


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Director Jiang first asked the driver to take SecretaryWang back to the nearby government office before driving them to dinner.


Normally, Zhang Siyi eats at the chainrestaurants in Haicheng. The kind of farm-to-table homemade meals DirectorJiang spoke of makes his appetite grow. He is reminded of the time Gu Yu tookhim out to eat sand tea noodles. In addition to the dishes mentioned, DirectorJiang ordered other selections, including a famous casserole dish and whitehead shrimp.


With a bowl of steaming fish soup, the fatigue thatZhang Siyi and Lu Qiao felt, was swept away. The feeling of warmth was worthit.


During the meal, Director Jiang chatted with themfor a while. Unlike Secretary Wang’s official speech, this director was morecasual. He asked them about their education, the industry, when their annualholiday is and more.


Since they had a very good impression of theDirector, Zhang Siyi and Lu Qiao had been chatting with him for a long time.


After dinner, the Director drove them around thecity and introduced them to some local customs and culture along the way. Hepointed out which plots are new development, what the uses are and how thecurrent situation is. Zhang Siyi took out a pen and notebook to write down theinformation Director Jiang reported.


C-City is not big. It takes less than an hour todrive all around. Director Jiang turned to them and asked them what plans theyhave next and whether they should go to the station or not. Sitting in the carwatching the relatively busy business district, Zhang Siyi suddenly rememberedwhen Gu Yu took him out to the night market to the experience the old town ofZ-City. “Director Jiang, it is still early and you are busy. We can goshopping on our own and then take a taxi to the station.”


Director Jiang nodded at the two young people andsaid: “Alright. Mr. Zhang has my phone number. Should there be anyproblems, you can contact me.”


Zhang Siyi and Lu Qiao thanked him for hishospitality, said goodbye and got out of the car.


Observing Zhang Siyi mature ability to deal withothers, Lu Qiao didn’t question his decision in the car, but now he asked:“Isn’t the evaluation done, what else is there?”


Zhang Siyi: “Since we are here, we might aswell look around and go shopping while keeping in mind the design of thelandmark government office building. We might feel inspired by our surroundings.Let’s do a good job!"


Lu Qiao understood, nodded with approval, andsaid: “Ah, you are really work hard. With New Year’s approaching, I stillwanted to do a casual job, but now you have raised the bar. Ha-ha, let’sgo.”


Laughing a bit, Zhang Siyi thought of the wordshis Father used to describe himself: “I’m Mr. three-minutes. The firstproject will inevitable be taken very seriously.”


Lu Qiao bowed his head and followed him for awhile silently, then suddenly asked: “Auntie Four, what do your parentsdo?”


Zhang Siyi stunned, remembering his promise andhis father’s cautious warning: “Why are you suddenly asking me this? Myparents are ordinary office workers.”


With a skeptical look, Lu Qiao flatly replied:“Can ordinary office workers afford an education abroad in the UK? Can theyrent a 12,000 high-class apartment in the first year of work? Can they buy acup of coffee for thirty or forty dollars? Well, these days you can say thatmany ordinary people can do it, but after listening to Secretary Wang andDirector Jiang, to be honest, if you weren’t here today, I am sure I would die.I don’t know how to speak when facing big officials.”


Zhang Siyi was a little confused at Lu Qiaoreaction. “What big official? He is just the Director of the planningbureau in the city. Even if they don’t normally go out to meet with people likeus, don’t be afraid, they are just office workers.” He had comforted LuQiao casually, but when he finished speaking, he saw Lu Qiao\'s eyes widened.


When Zhang Siyi thought about it, he realizedthat he "understood" a bit more. He closed mouth and quickly replied: "Hey,anyway, the officials are serving the people. You treat him as an ordinaryperson. Of course, you are a junior, and should respect him a little bitmore.”


Lu Qiao glared at Zhang Siyi for two seconds,suddenly approached him, grabbed the other’s shoulder and covered his mouthwith his palm then mysteriously said: “Tell me. I promise not totell.”


“…” Zhang Siyi shrank his neck.“My Father isn’t an official. He is a civil servant, um, civil servant!”


Seeing Zhang Siyi\'s evasive reluctance, Lu Qiaotried harder. He was short so it was difficult to keep him still. He squintedand said: “Are you not a prince that was made to be with common folk as alearning experience?”


Sweating on his forehead, Zhang Siyi is indeed havingan experience, but Lu Qiao’s description seems to be a bit too much!


When Lu Qiao saw that he did not answer, heguessed it for himself: “Is your father a mayor? Or a governor? Is he evenmore powerful?”


Zhang Siyi was afraid that the more he said themore outrageous, and quickly grabbed his mouth: “No. No. No!”


Lu Qiao is a very curious person and his thirstfor information has been whetted. I don\'t know if the answer is worse thankilling him. In anticipation is asked: "I\'m begging you!! Tell me soon. Please!”


Zhang Siyi: “…”


Zhang Siyi sighed in resignation. He whispered:“Then you swear not to tell anyone?”


Lu Qiao lifted the hand: “I swear by ourrevolutionary friendship, I won’t tell a soul. I will be out of orbit in mylife journey, completely disconnected from Headquarters, lost in dark space,straight to energy exhaustion … ”


“All right, all right,” Zhang Siyi gruntedand said quickly: “My dad is the director of the construction departmentin Z province.”


“Oh!!!” Lu Qiao said with a ‘I-know-so’expression. He gave Zhang Siyi a look over then curiously asked: “Whatdoes the director of the construction department do?”


Zhang Siyi: “………”


He explained a little bit about the officialpositions at various levels then returned to the topic: “My Father said totreat people like them with the utmost respect. The more you are not humble andgenerous, the more they will think negatively about you. That would give themammunition to use against you in the future.”


Lu Qiao seems to understand, but this “nothumble and generous” is easier said than done. It is really difficult todo


Although China has a willingness to promoteequality for all, the slavishness engraved in the national bones after thereincarnation of the millennial feudal dynasty is difficult to be cleaned up ina short period of time. The current social status is in the process of changeto reach the state of officials and people like there is in some countries inWestern Europe.


Moreover, people love to listen to good words andleadership is no exception, but how to say good things is also a skill. It isjust like Zhang Siyi had said about being assistants. It not only reflects hismodesty, but also pays respect to Secretary Wang’s thoughts. At the same time,he also raised the status of Gu Yu. Also, maybe Secretary Wang will call backGu Yu with a report making him happy.


Lu Qiao sighed and looked at Zhang Siyi, enviousof the family education brought by the other family. Fortunately, Zhang Siyi isa good person. If this person is a bit high-spirited, his envy will have togive birth to hate!


Lu Qiao remembered one thing and humbly asked foradvice: “Why when you talked to Director Jiang first, did you giveSecretary Wang your business card?”


Zhang Siyi is a glimpse, this little detail LuQiao does not mention that he forgot.


After thinking about it, he scratched his headand explained: “I didn’t tell him that we are just little assistants?Although it was Boss who called Wang to make arrangement for us to look at thearea, the first to contact was Director Jiang. It can be seen that DirectorWang does not look at us, but only our Boss. In his opinion, only Director Guwas qualified to talk to him directly. Secretary Wang came in person today andanswered our questions which was more than enough on his part. Therefore, evenif I give him a business card, he will return to the director Jiang, then I amnot as self-aware, directly to Director Jiang…”


Lu Qiao: “…”


Shit, the original business card has so manybends around? (#°Д°)


“But Director Jiang already knows your phone number. Isn’t givingthem a business card excessive?” Lu Qiao asked again.


Zhang Siyi waved his hand: “Two boxes of business cards is twohundred. I have more than enough to give away. Anyway, it will let DirectorJiang deepen his impression of me. He is Secretary Wang’s aid. It\'s definitelynot a bad thing to give him a good impression!"


Lu Qiao was completely convinced, silently in the heart of the cow –hey, the city is deep, he wants to go back to the countryside!


The two walked for an hour and saw a lot of new commercial malls.Although they were not as big as the ones in the big cities, they were alsovery good.


However, Zhang Siyi found a strange phenomenon. They are already inthe center of the city, but there aren’t many people around. Most of the mallswere empty. The commercial spaces were void of businesses. Store clerks weren’tcoming forward with greetings.


“It\'s so…. empty.” Zhang Siyi said with feeling.


“Is it because of the workday?” Lu Qiao guessed.


Zhang Siyi frowned. “It shouldn’t be. It’s going to be a New Yearsoon. Of course, there are some people going to their jobs, but there should bemany young and old alike to come buy things and prepare for the holiday.”


Lu Qiao quickly thought of the reason for this: “Ah, this isproduct of over-development.”


Yes, a few years ago, stimulated by rising commodity prices and rapidcredit growth, many small and medium sized cities built commercial buildings,shopping centers and office buildings, which led to an oversupply in themarket.


They realized now, Director Jiang only symbolically introduced them tothe area. He was very proud of the development and local construction. However,they actually saw it in the first place and found that the name was not true.Although the commercial building was built, it was both unnecessary andstagnate. It seems that C-City is a typical example of over-development.


Regardless of whether the local government is doing this in order topursue political achievements or unrealistic GDP growth, this isn’t good. ZhangSiyi\'s heart has been very upset about Director Wang views. He whispered: "Whatnew developments? What landmark office building? Is he not afraid that when itis built, the town will be poorer?”


Thoughtful, Lu Qiao asked: “How can the Secretary just ask for anoffice building on such a large piece of land and not make a plan first? Doeshis misunderstand the process?”


Zhang Siyi paused and said: “Since he knows the workmanship ofBorderless, I don’t think he doesn’t understand the problem. Although he wantsan office building, he knows there will be some plot planning beforehand. Heused the design fee of an office building to get ideas for plot planning. He isbuying one to get the other for free.”


Lu Qiao touched his chin and suddenly came over. He hit his thigh andsaid indignantly: “I knew it! Just let him do something! Look at whatbase! Ha!”


Zhang Siyi: “…”


Silence for a while, both of them sighed.


Even if they know the truth of the matter, like a doctor treating a patientregardless if they were good or evil, they have to the work as best as theycan. This is basic professional curtesy.


The two quickly took a taxi to the bus station, but taxi driver had anaccident at a large pothole. Lu Qiao was so angry at the driver he quarreledwith him. They had to get out to take another driver and pay an additionaltwelve dollars. It was just a small matter to Zhang Siyi and he pulled Lu Qiaoalong. He was anxious to get to the station on time because he was the one thatordered the tickets back to Haicheng on the same day! However, tragedy stillstruck.


In the car, they also looked at the time worried. They wanted toencourage the driver to go faster. The long-distance shuttle travel time is acontrolled forty-five-minute journey; not too fast and not too slow. The two ofthem sprint the last one-hundred meters to the train platform, only to see thetrain pull away, gone. With only a few minutes of dispute, they just missed thetrain!


Gasping for breath, Zhang Siyi held his knees.


Lu Qiao began to thrash about scolding the driver: “The shithead,bully us outsiders and let us miss the car!” When he was tired ofscolding, he was dismayed: “It’s all my fault, I shouldn’t have quarreledwith him.” He lowered his head and felt guilty.


“It’s not your fault, we wouldn’t be too late if I didn’t proposeto shop……" Zhang Siyi comforted him and waited for him to get up.“Stop staring at the ticket. We really aren’t going back.”


Lu Qiao immediately remembered the line they said together in front ofthe development area and laughed out loud: “Ok now what?”


Zhang Siyi is also a bit lost: “Don’t know……"


Just then, his cell phone rang. Looking at the display, Zhang Siyi wasscared to answer, but he quickly picked up. He listened to the voice on theopposite end: “Are you on your way home?”


“We, we … we aren’t coming back.” (=_=)


"…… Hmm?”


Listening to the rhetorical “Um,” Zhang Siyi instinctivelysoftened his voice, and complained pitifully: “Boss….. we just….. missedthe train.”


Gu Yu: “…..”


______________________________


The author has something to say:


I heardthat you can not see the Forbidden City is not happy, I blew the liver wrote4600 words to let him show a face.


The formula is to scatter a flower ~~~ (〒▽〒)


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