Sunday morning. Catching up on work, listening to Gregorio Allegri’s Misere, YJ doing her yoga…and my neighbor drilling holes in the concrete right next to our apartment to install a window grate and air conditioning unit.
When I politely inquired why they chose Sunday morning at 8:00 to do this little home renovation project, they informed me that it was “convenient.”
The Chinese have a word “suzhi” (素质) for which there really isn’t any great English translation. Literally it means “quality” and is often used to describe people. Someone could be of “high quality” or “low quality.” The word represents–and this is what makes it hard to translate–an abstract tangle of a person’s character, manners, class, style, background, and education level. As with good or bad modern art, the criteria for “high” and “low” suzhi is not always easy to explain, but you know it when you see it.
Right now the people next door are displaying low suzhi and they’re betting HEAVILY that my suzhi is just high enough that I won’t go next door and beat them into unconsciousness with a softball bat.
Okay. I feel better now. Back to work.