10:30 pm. Three small,

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10:30 pm. Three small, unmarked utility vans pull up outside our house. They are crammed with construction equipment.

The doors burst open and five young men dressed in work clothes and yellow safety vests pile out. Orange traffic cones, lights and equipment carts fly from the back of one of the vans while two of the men energetically set them up right in front of our garage door.

This is strange. Construction workers are not energetic. They don't fling things around. They never look like they are having fun.

I open the window on the third floor and lean out to get a better view. What are they doing down there by our garage, anyway?

One of the men spots me watching. I smile. He waves. One of the other young men who is dressed in a bright orange, down-filled jacket, looks up at me. He says "Hello." Now it's English practice time. Where are you from? I love you. Are you married? Where is your husband? I'm sorry. Bye-bye.

All the while, the other four are arranging cones, writing on chalkboards and taking photos. That's a normal construction practice here--construction crews document everything with a digital camera--but not usually so merrily and rarely at 10:30 at night.

Within tem minutes of their arrival everything was packed back into the vans, including the men, and they were on their way. Off to photograph someone else's garage, perhaps?

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