Demolition

It always surprises me how quickly houses are torn down here. Yesterday morning I noticed how roof tiles were removed from a house in my neighborhood. Mid afternoon, the whole first floor was already gone, and this is what the house looked today after the builders (or should I say demolishers?) had left:demolished house with bulldozerI bet that the plot will be completely cleared by tomorrow evening. Only three days to demolish a house! Of course, most of the houses here are still made of wood, so it does not take much effort to pull them down. People seem to be rather brutal in their approach, they make tabula rasa in the true sense of the word. Near my soroban school, there was a nice family house in a large garden, complete with trees, a hedge and a big Japanese style gate. One evening, when I passed by there, half of the gate was gone, and a bulldozer stood in the middle of the house; and a week later, every single tree and bush and whatever else had constituted the garden was gone as well, the whole plot was a bare plane of gravel.

By now they are building one of those terrible modern Japanese houses there – a wooden structure covered with plastic inside and out. I positively hate them, they are so ugly! There is lots of building activity going on at the moment all over town. A friend told me that apparently this year is a very auspicious one when it comes to building new houses, and build they do.  At another open plot, I have seen a small tent with a number of chairs in it, apparently erected for some ceremony, most likely Shinto. I find it rather odd that in the 21st century people would still worry about auspicious times…

Anyway, I am quite sure we’ll get another one of those dreadful modern houses on the plot in my neighborhood, to be fair though, there is not much space to build anything else. We’ll see…

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