Reading the China Daily English newspaper today I was taken with a story on Cyprus, largely because we have been there. We went one Christmas break with Ken and Sheila as Ken’s brother Rick was in the process of building a house there and it was to be ready for us when we arrived. Alas, it was not ready so we moved into a fairly new condo. The drought of some 6 years ended that very day and the roof of the condo began to leak. Everyone was surprised but we guessed the builders simply hadn’t tested it–why bother, really, if it never rains? Long story short, we were moved into a lovely unit with roof intact and thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring the island.
So, when I spotted the article, I was keen to read. What is the story? Cyprus is offering permanent resident status to any Chinese buying property worth over 330,000 Euros and so far, over 500 Chinese have done so. Will Nicosia become the next Vancouver, ie home to many many former Hong Kong Chinese who took their money west instead of east when H.K. was repatriated? Never mind their presence on the local Cypriot golf courses, what about the takeover of one of the most strategically placed islands in the world? North Americans can relax: the Chinese will be taking over Europe first. And they don’t have to ask! The same paper had a full length article quoting business and government leaders from a variety of European countries saying they would welcome Chinese investment. France, Portugal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany–“We admire your business acumen! We respect your ways of doing business! We are in awe of your incredible wealth! Please… pick my country!” I look forward to the Turkish response.
The paper was also full of news of the earthquake in Sichuan province. It’s not too far away from us but apparently in far less stable conditions. Our friend Charlie told us that Zheijiang province is known to be “disaster free” and has experienced no threats from mother nature. Other than the frequent strong winds, we find this to be true although the soil everywhere appears to be nothing more than dense clay. Isn’t that the kind of thing that liquifes when shaken? Could someone please consult with Richmond and get back to me?
Meanwhile, Geoff has been busy nesting. In the last month, he has purchased and placed two rocking chairs and 5 planters full of begonias on our deck/balcony/laundry room and this week had installed bamboo roller blinds to block out the afternoon sun from the west. They are very nice and should make a difference to the temperature indoors and on the deck once things warms up. Finally, he located a full length mirror and installed it on the wall of our second bedroom. I have been missing that one for a long time! We’re going to have one heck of a sale when we leave or else the owners of this apartment will been the benefactors of many improvements. It really is quite comfortable and homey now.
Well, it’s happy hour–4:30 in our house–so it’s time for a refreshing glass of cold white wine. I have given up drinking the cheap stuff, now that we have a supplier of some really nice wines. Life is too short, isn’t it? Cheers, friends.