Photo by Andy Best
We just got some disturbing news from Kungfuology’s Andy Best reporting that one of my favorite outdoor cafes, Boonna, was the victim of an overzealous landlord. It’s patio has been ripped to shreds and is officially no more!
It seems that the culture of raiding without recourse to appeal is so internalized by China’s authorities that it even gets applied in totally mundane and unnecessary circumstances. I went to Boonna 3 for breakfast this morning and was personally witness to something completely over the top. The actual reasons for it were not that out there though. I was not able to get a photo at the exact time, unfortunately, due to police presence and ‘real’ officials being there.
So it turns out the landlord of the, currently empty, flat above Boonna 3 on Huaihai Lu wants to sell and feels the value would increase if they had more shared use of the patio downstairs. However, rather than talking to Boonna about it, they went directly to police/gov contacts. So, the first Boonna know of it is when a full raiding party of clipboard wielding officials, police and workers turn up by surprise this morning and tells them their patio will now be removed. I stood and watched this, by the way. The patio was then smashed up and removed, dumped in a heap and left.
What’s more, Boonna have to remove the mess themselves and there’s no discussion of what they have to do with the area either. Obviously there was no discussion of Boonna’s rights in the matter either. It was, to quote the managerial staff on duty, “By force”.
To top it off, Boonna 1’s landlord is not renewing their lease and that will be gone by the end of the month.
… and just when the weather had finally turned great too! Frickin’ ridiculous.