Zhang Shuanzhu is a powerfully built construction worker on the site of Beijing's National Stadium, the Bird's Nest. He spoke to a reporter from China.org.cn about his working conditions and his pride in his achievements.
Workers busy with their jobs
China.org.cn: What part of China are you from? How long have you been in Beijing?
Zhang: I come from Zhu Madian in Henan Province. I've been here since 2006 and have been working here for just over two years. The project started 3 years ago, so I was a year late. (smiling)
China.org.cn: Can I ask how old you are? Do you have any children?
Zhang: I'm 46 years old. I have a boy and a girl; one of my kids is working in Xinjiang; the other is still at school, in senior high back in home.
China.org.cn: What's your job here at the building site?
Zhang: I pave the roads in and around the Bird's Nest. We paved all the roads around the Bird's Nest as well as the roads around the National Aquatics Center -- the Water Cube. (Zhang seemed very proud when recounting this)
China.org.cn: Can you tell us a bit about your daily routine?
Zhang: I get up at 6 o'clock every morning and I'm at work by half past six. We take an hour's rest after lunch and knock off at 6 in the evening.
China.org.cn: What about board and lodging?
Zhang: Conditions aren't bad. We get meat in our dinner every other day. The boss -- our contractor -- pays for our lodgings; we live indoors, inside a building.
China.org.cn: You have been working here for over two years; how many times have you been home?
Zhang: Never. Not once.
China.org.cn: Not even at Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)?
Zhang: No, never.
China.org.cn: Why is that?
Zhang: Because the construction schedule is so tight.
China.org.cn: You must miss your family very much.
Zhang: Of course; everyone misses home. But that's just the way it is. I can't go.