Before flying to Seoul, I thought we could, at least, go to Xian, so that Alex wouldn’t have come here for nothing. But we couldn’t. Chinese are on vacation. A potential of 1.2 billion people in buses, trains, planes. Every transportation mean was fully booked; we were stuck in Shanghai. Chinese get the same rights as we do, and we complain 😉
Under Mao, factories were the pivot point of existences. From the 1966’ Cultural Revolution to 1995, Chinese were working 24/7. In 1995 indeed, after two decades of reforms triggered by Deng Xiaoping, the population was granted 2 rest days a week – Saturdays and Sundays. Then, after the 1997 Asiatic downturn, Beijing understood the need to develop domestic consumption to sustain growth. That’s why, all the sudden, 3 “gold weeks” of vacation were set.
For many, though, leisure is not yet a new paradigm, just an unreachable mirage. Public service and big companies employees invade malls and planes, while others set the conditions of their pleasure. Even worse: In some cases, to be allowed to take those bank holidays, they have to work on the weekends prior to those gold days!