By Andrew B.
I did know that Melvin would be leaving because his wife was pregnant, but what I didn’t know was that everyone else was leaving too. Guting is pursuing a job at a Chinese law firm and Peidong must meet the requirements of the Beijing Bar by joining a month long prep class. So, that leaves me here with no one but the plant.
I guess things do change very fast in China. It doesn’t surprise me either. I have seen so many new construction projects in the last month- probably more than my entire time in law school! Just across the street from our office there is a gigantic complex complete with twin towers, a bus station, and a colossal mall. Who knows why Beijing investors feel the need to build three enormous malls at each corner of an intersection, but they do. To the ordinary person, the multi-billion RMB structure is just another of the countless architectural wonders of modern day China, but upon closer inspection, you will discover something bizarre. The gleaming silver and bronze windows are actually a green glass covered in filth and dust, creating the appearance of an expensive luster in the sunlight. Press your face up against the glass and you will notice an empty wasteland consequently abandoned before completion. In fact, the spire that you had thought was an ornate pinnacle to a momentous achievement is nothing more than a decrepit skeleton of steel and concrete. It turns out; the project ran out of money. With all the planning and work and sweat and blood, it was no match for corporate greed and corruption. But on the positive side, it does look great in the skyline.
However, next week I won’t be seeing this building anymore. It turns out that even though everyone is leaving, I won’t have to work by myself. JVI is partnered with ACLC in China who just happens to be run by a lawyer from the Da Cheng firm- China’s largest law firm, so I will be using those suits after all. ACLC has been kind enough to let me work out of the Da Cheng office in downtown Beijing. Who knew? I just hope I won’t be drenched in sweat on my first day after the bike ride, subway, and walk!