Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 30: Small Hair
In order to keep the Revolutionary United Front, Zhang Si Yi can only help keep her secret.
He just happened to see part of a page of an opened book. There was a man pushing another to the wall to bite his neck, blushing with a quickening heartbeat… Zhang Siyi hurriedly closed the book and felt goosebumps all over. He couldn’t look at his mom. He especially does not want her to visit. What will she think when she sees him living with Heartless Han and his dog? Is his mother going to think he’s gay!
Since he returned to his hometown, Zhang Siyi took pictures of the high-speed railway station and Ningcheng on the road. A local friend contacted him that night and politely asked him to go out and have a few drinks.
When he visited between his semesters in England, he mainly stayed at home with his parents and didn’t have much time for socializing. Most invitations were made by excuses and only wanted to see how Zhang Siyi, the small hair, grew up. He had one childhood friend, Shen Hao, whose family also knew Zhang Siyi’s family.
Shen Hao family and Zhang Siyi’s family have a little friendship. Shen Hao’s father worked with Zhang Siyi’s father in the early days. Although he is now in a different department, he has always had contact.
The boys were in the same kindergarten and elementary school. His father insisted that Zhang Siyi only go to public schools, so after he graduated from junior high school, Shen Wei was sent to a private school. Under pressure, Zhang Siyi was admitted to Ningwai.
To put it bluntly, Shen Hao is “defective”. When he was in college, he didn’t even have an undergraduate course of study. After that, his father paid for him to enter a pheasant university in a nearby city. It sounds like a college graduate, but in fact, it is just a specialist qualification.
However, apart from the academic qualifications, Shen Dao is a very worthy friend. He just doesn’t like to read books, but he has a lot of ideas. He is very clever and humorous. Zhang Siyi especially loved to play with him as kids. In the past few years, Zhang Siyi has also been in contact with Shen Hao intermittently.
The next afternoon, the two met at the small bar. When Shen Yan met Zhang Siyi, he eagerly came up to him with a light punch and then grabbed the brother’s shoulder. He was excited: “Zhang Dagongzi!”
Zhang Siyi turned around and elbowed his friend: “I haven’t seen you in over a year, you are so different!”
Last summer, when Zhang Siyi was still a student, he came back and saw each other. His friend has changed since then with his tanned and rough skin. He still has a hippie smile, but he now feels like a young person in society.
Shen Hao: “I am different from your white-faced, scholar background. I have mixed up in society for almost two years. I’m full of wind and sun, old!”
After they sat down, they ordered some beer and skewers. Zhang Siyi saw him place a BMW car key on the table. He was surprised: “BMW, wear Zegna. Shit! How are you so rich now?”
Shen Yu proudly said: “I am working in architecture.”
“Hey!” Zhang Siyi squirted a beer and wiped his mouth. “You didn’t go for a financial major at the Patriotic Economic and Trade University? When did you switch to architecture?”
Shen Hao smiled: “Isn’t this to because of you. When I was studying for a few years, my dad was getting on my ass everyday telling me how great and diligent you were, that I needed to learn from you. So, when you went abroad to study architecture, he thought there had to be a future in the field.”
Zhang Siyi inwardly groaned. He asked: “You tell me clearly; what building are you doing?”
Shen Hao drank a big swig of beer and said: “Do construction contracting projects.”
Zhang Siyi: “What is that? Say it simply!
Shen Hao: “It’s the contractor.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Shen Hao put his beer to the side and said: “Don’t underestimate me in this line. I’ll tell you. I make a lot of money. These last two years I’ve worked on three projects and earned this amount.” He stretched out his palm with five fingers open,” this number!”
Zhang Siyi an eyebrow: “50,000?”
Shen Hao stared with eyes and forced the five fingers toward Zhang Si Yi to join.
Zhang Siyi: “Your lying! It’s not half a million, is it?”
Shen Hao slapped the table: “Eh? It’s five million! Five million!”
Zhang Siyi is shocked speechless: “Really, it’s that much? Don’t bullshit me!”
Shen Hao hurriedly said: “I’m not bluffing. I’m your friend! I got my car and my house!”
Zhang Siyi is both envious and instinctively unwilling to believe it. He is curious: “What do you do? What foundation is needed?”
Shen Hao waved his hand: “The contractor recruits’ people to work and manages them.”
Zhang Siyi raised his eyebrows: “That sounds to simple. Why Isn’t everyone able to make a fortune?”
Shen Xiao smiled: “Of course it’s not simple! It’s about opportunity and to be honest, the first project is based on my father’s relationship…”
Zhang Siyi found the real reason. He nodded “uh huh”.
Shen Hao continued: “My father has a friend named, Uncle Cao, who is in the construction business. He saw me idle after graduation and asked me to help him with a favor. After a while I started learning from him about the overall process; where to find people to work, where to buy materials etc… It’s getting more difficult because of the expense. Migrant workers are paid 2000 now.”
Zhang Siyi interrupted: “The three projects earned 5 million and paying workers 2000 is still expensive?”
Shen Hoa said: “The whole market situation is like this. Others only give one thousand or fifteen thousand. I pay two thousand. It’s good!”
Zhang Siyi is speechless.
Shen Hoa also pointed his finger to him: “A project might have fifty people, with 12 hours a day working shifts. Sometimes the project must go through two shifts day and night which is equivalent to double the labor. Monthly expenditure will be a dozen or two hundred thousand. This doesn’t guarantee that the workers won’t try to drag out the time!”
Zhang Siyi: “Wait, twelve hours a day? Isn’t the legal working time eight hours?”
Shen Hao looked at him like an idiot: “Which line of work is only eight hours? Don’t tell me that you don’t work overtime, huh, huh.”
The last “huh huh” was a great irony to Zhang Siyi, and Zhang Siyi was so angry that he couldn’t refute anything. He did work overtime often and he even spent the night!
Shen Hao ignored his scowl and continued: “In any case, artificially, you can’t make any money. The main profits are from materials. You must understand the building materials market. The construction unit will give you a total amount of money for each project. If you save money, the rest of the profits are yours.”
Zhang Siyi and squinted at him: “Don’t use cheap, black market stuff!”
Shen Hao said: “I am not the kind of person who has no conscience!”
Zhang Siyi slowly nodded his head and asked: “You have no foundation in construction. How can you be a supervisor? What if there is a problem?”
Shen Hao doesn’t care: “Pay the Supervisor consultant to help look at it!”
“That’s your solution? “Zhang Siyi wasn’t sure he heard right. What if the Supervisor consultant is a liar? What if Shen Hao was fooled by someone else and didn’t know? What if something went wrong in the construction process? Who’s in charge? Is it a Shen Hao or a construction consultant or an engineering company? Even though Zhang Siyi had a thousand question, he didn’t ask. He didn’t want to crush Shen Hao’s enthusiasm.
Shen Hao: “Don’t worry. I have learned a lot in these past two years. I’ve worked in the industry with Uncle Coa as well as others. My dad is always promoting me, and I get contacted often. Hey! It’s so much more interesting working in society. Studying was suffocating!”
Shen Hao grabbed the car key and shook his hand, proud: “You see the results! My BMW and lake view apartment are paid for and I didn’t even spend a penny from my family.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Zhang Siyi feels like he has a stomach ache. For more than a decade, one type of belief has been instilled into Zhang Siyi mind. In order to succeed in the future, you must study hard and do well. However, the reality is different. Right in front of him is a person who never studied and yet, he has already surpassed Zhang Siyi financially! It is too difficult to admit that the other person is better than himself. In particular, his friend has easily done what Zhang Siyi has always wanted to do. He does not spend a penny from home, starts from scratch, is rich and wealthy, and proves his strength in front of his father.
Just then, Shen Hao smiled and asked, “What about you? Well, how are you doing in the big city?”
He knows his friend doesn’t mean anything by his questions, but to Zhang Siyi, it feels like he is pouring lemon juice over paper cuts. Depressed, he responded: “I don’t earn as much money as you. I’m a hard-working drawing dog. I work at an office with a monthly salary less then then six thousand most of which goes to rent so I can only eat dirt.”
He also wants to brag in front of Shen like a bulging, fat man, but in the face of a local tyrant who has reached 2.5 million a year, the gap is too big. He feels like a salted fish; lifeless and dried.
Shen Shen’s heart was dark, and the surface was surprised: “Really? Haicheng’s salary is so low?”
Is he really not poking fun at Zhang Siyi’s expense? He inwardly sighs. In fact, it is not low. He is a thousand dollars more than Jiang Hai!
Shen Hao’s family was convinced he would always follow in Zhang Siyi’s shadow. In Shen Hao father’s mouth, Zhang Father’s son was “a child of other people’s family”. Somewhere in his heart he wanted the serf to turn over and become the master. Feeling giddy with happiness, he’s got his wish!
They have been friends for a long time. Shen Hao wants to earnestly help his friend out and says: “You are in the big city now but can return in Ningcheng and work with me! I’m picking up relatively small projects now, but with more experience I will be able to pick up bigger projects that pay even more. I have the money to connect with people and you are an architect with professional knowledge. When I hire you, I will give you a share of the profits and make sure you can also earn a golden pot in a few years.”
After hearing his friend’s proposal, Zhang Siyi felt moved. How could he not? One hundred fifty thousand a year! He doesn’t think even Gu Yu’s annual salary is a fraction of it!
He is thankful for his friend’s olive branch, but Zhang Siyi doesn’t feel comfortable. If he doesn’t use the skills, he graduated university with, what were all those years studying architecture for?
Zhang Siyi bit his teeth: “Thanks, but I’m learning design and I don’t know what to do with construction, so I don’t think I can help you right now. Maybe later when I learn more, we will be able to work together on a project. I’ll will immediately come to you!”
Shen Hao: “Good deal!”
After that, the two of them talked about the friends of the past few years. Many of them were peers with similar family backgrounds who grew up in the district.
Shen Hao: “Remember that Song Xiao? She is getting married at the end of the year.”
Zhang Siyi: “The one who always has a runny nose in elementary school? So fast!”
Laughing, Shen Hao said: “Well, when I was a child, I teased her and pulled her braids. I didn’t expect her to get married so soon. At 18, she has changed a lot. She is quite beautiful now. If I had earned my 5 million earlier, she would be my wife!”
Zhang Siyi: “Ha-ha-ha!”
Shen Hao: “She may not know that you have returned to China. Are you coming back for the New Year? I will let her know, and we can go out for drinks!”
Zhang Siyi excited way: “Good!”
Shen Hao: “By the way, if you go to the wedding don’t forget a gift.”
Zhang Siyi doesn’t know the current trend and asks: “Usually how much do people give?”
Shen Hao: ” I estimate about one thousand six-eight hundred.”
There are so many sleeper grooves! Zhang Siyi expenditures greatly exceed his current income and he is still expected to pay 1600-1800 for a wedding gift? But before he could express his inner shock, he listened to Shen Hao: “I earn a lot, so I gave 10,000.” “Poof …” Zhang Siyi felt like he had a huge hole in his chest.