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Chinese worker builds "egg" house to beat high cost of living

English.news.cn   2010-12-03 21:23:52 FeedbackPrintRSS
Photo taken on Dec. 2, 2010 shows some furnishings in the egg-shaped cabin in Beijing, capital of China.(Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

BEIJING, Dec. 3, 2010 (Xinhua) -- An egg-shaped small cabin made of bamboo bars, bags of grass seeds and wood crumbs appeared in the yard of a residential area in Beijing recently, arousing curiosity of many passers-by.

Its owner, Dai Haifei, 24, coming from the countryside of central China's Hunan Province, is one of the "bei piao" group, a nickname for young dream hunters migrating to Beijing without a registered residence.

Upon college graduation, Dai came to Beijing alone and worked in an architecture design company. Inspired by a concept creation dubbed "eggs laid by city" displayed in his company's design show, he built the "egg cabin" with 6,427 yuan RMB (about 965 US dollars) in two months.

By living in this cabin next to his office building, the young man was quite pleased with the money he saved from house rent. "although I still spend all I earned every month, my living standard is greatly improved," He said, "now I can even afford going to cafe from time to time to enjoy some leisure moments."

With an area of 6 square meters and a height of 2 meters, the "egg" can accommodate one single bed and a small bedstand.

A water tank is hidden under the bed, adequate to three days' water use. A solar panel on the roof supplies electric power. Wheels at the bottom make it mobile.

Though lovely in appearance, it is not as comfortable to reside as it looks. Without heating system, the indoor temperature is only 5 degrees Celsius, and even lower in Beijing's freezing winter night.

The appearance of "egg cabin" aroused heated discussion among public. Most people showed sympathy on Dai, but some eyed this as a performance art. A few even doubted that the whole thing was a plot of Dai's company aiming at raising their fame.

On the whole, people who also bear the brunt of the soaring real estate price of Beijing were more willing to believe Dai's story.

Dai's worries came true after he was interviewed by media. His cabin was noticed by city administrative authority, who said that according to regulation of urban residence administration, the "egg cabin" was an illegal residence.

Perhaps very soon Dai has to move out from the "egg cabin" and find a place to rent again. By then the "egg cabin" may indeed become an outdoor artwork, like one of the fairy tales.

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Editor: Bi Mingxin
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