Mum shared a really interesting article with me the other day (you can read it here), all about Nail Houses - which I hadn't heard of before. In a nutshell: You know how sometimes the government needs to purchase a bunch of houses so they can knock them down to make way for a new highway, or a new airport etc. etc? Well in many parts of China now they seem to have laws that protect homeowners to the point that if they chose not to accept the government's offer and sell their homes so they can be knocked down for new roads etc., then the government can't force them to do it.
So the government (and this is where it all gets just a little fabulous), simply knocks down everything else, and goes ahead with the project anyway. Sometimes they'll even pull down half of an apartment building, leaving the section containing the apartment that won't sell! This perfect mix of stubbornness on both sides means that some proud homeowners suddenly find themselves living in the middle of a freeway:
Now from what I've read, it seems that sooner or later a house-stopping-the-freeway-from-opening will draw huge national media attention and heavy pressure will rain down on everyone involved. And then it seems that eventually (as was the case with the above home) the homeowner will sell their home and move, but not until after the Government folds and gives them the much higher asking price they were demanding in the first place.
But of course, it also seems like some simply adjust to life in the middle of the road.
Which I think is pretty awesome really :)