Phase 1: Posing Real Questions
After the years here in Shanghai I know that I am going to be shocked by the difference in numbers economically in a life-style in Shanghai and in Xizhou. I know that even though numbers maybe different what I need to realize that the economy in Xizhou is different this meaning that the amount of money needed to feed a family of 5 in Xizhou will be very different then downtown Shanghai.
In the past years, especially on my trip to Tonglu in seventh grade on my China Alive trip I have learned various life lessons. I had the experience of realizing that after working outside in the sun for the whole day I got 6 Yuan. In the end of the day I had to feed myself with this money, I had struggles, but I accomplished to do so.
In general for this topic I want to know how much money is needed to live in a house of 5 and live happily for a long period of time. I want to know if there is a such "minimum wage" in Xizhou and if not what do people do to get more economic help. I want to know what the best job (best pay) is in Xizhou is and how much they get paid a (month)...? and the lowest wage.
When doing a search on Xizhou I found that the town is famous for its markets and food. The Bai architecture also plays a big role in their historical importance. I learned as well that there is lots of trade between near by town and cities. Even though lots of citizens from different places use the lake as a source of income their are lots of fishermen from XiZhou.
Here are a few questions I want answered at least by the end of my trip to Xizhou and some possible answers. I am focusing mostly on the Xizhou Ba Ba restaurant in Si Fang Jie Xizhou:
Xizhou Baba questions:
1. How did this Business start?
As I stated in question seven I think so people will not be able to answer this question due to being in use for various generations. Of course there is a choice is some occasions, but sometimes people become farmers because of specific reasons and stories I want to look into.
2. Who in the family is involved in this Business?
I think the Xizhou Baba restaurant has the father, mother and grandmother working in the household, but I want to know if other places do the same.
3. I wonder how many Xizhou Baba are made per day in the little store per day?
If I can figure out how many are made a day and/or how many are made every 10 minutes I can create some specific long term calculations.
4. What percent of the money in the business goes to the materials and power that hold up the business?
Due to China having a communist party for a government I suppose a large quantity of the income goes to the government, but I don't know if Xizhou is an exception or the I have a different idea of China's government.
5. How long has the business been around for?
Here in Xizhou it seems that lots of people know each other. I suppose that some businesses have been going on for generations, but some of them are new like the one which opened a few days ago with an explosion with fireworks.
6. What they want for the future generations?
Everyone wants the best for their children, but in Xizhou I think want people want is their decedents to grow into their foot-steps. I for example want to be like my father is, a hard working engineer.
7. How long are the work hours?
Out on the fields the work starts early to the sun-rise and I guess it ends when the sun comes down. For shopkeepers and restaurant owners don't have many costumers due to lots of them going home at sun-down, so I believe they can't close much later.
8. I want to know how long the store is open for?
I am guessing an average of 5 hours of working time per day.
9 . When do the "employees" take breaks? How long?
I don't know of any regulations on work house in Xizhou, but I guess a 1 hour break in the middle of the day sounds reasonable.
10. How much income is gained on a good day/month of sales? Even with the usage on income for materials and other essential needs.
I have no idea how to answer this question. This question can only be answered by the person I am asking it to. It also depends of the success of the month/day.
11. How do they keep track of the money coming in?
I believe that they keep their money from selling Baba's in a specific place in the store, but I truly need to find more information.
Before I go on, I need to know more on the general ideas on sustaining a business. Some examples are the reminder of having essential materials and tools to keep working in an organized manner. Another thought is on cultural Bai traditions on working. In Germany for example workers don't ever work over-hours even if something needs to be worked on. I want to know about those general cultural thoughts on work in a daily life.