Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Moving Mountains, in Beijing

Fancy a getaway to a mountain villa for some peace and quiet but too busy or lazy to travel out of town? Well, a certain eccentric professor in Beijing took it upon himself to upend the old saying that “Muhammad must go to the mountain” if the mountain won’t come to him. Indeed, Professor Zhang Lin has shown that all adages have their exceptions. The problem is that he aimed to prove his point without employing a shred of common sense, by assembling his mountain stone by stone atop his high rise penthouse apartment. To boot, he did not bother receiving any government permits or soliciting consent from his neighbors to undertake the renovations. Perhaps more alarmingly, he installed large steel struts on the outside of the building to support the monstosity, lest the weight of the pile of rock and rubble collapses the entire structure.
A government official has already indicated that the building's supplement will need to be reversed. In the meantime, the serenity of his urban/alpine home has (not surprisingly) been disrupted by the noisy ire of his fellow residents. And it’s hard to imagine that the nutty professor can accuse them of making a mountain out of a molehill - he’s already beaten them to it. Let’s just hope that, once the mountain is returned to where it belongs, he uses the travel time to visit it wisely - for quiet contemplation and reflection on social responsibility.

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