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Zhu Qin Zhe
My short visit in Beijing came to the end, as my cousin finished his last examination. We went home taking the 12-hour high-speedy train, and arrived in Longyan late at night. It was raining heavily. It felt uncomfortably cold. The chill in Longyan differs from that in Beijing. It pierced into the bones, making people shiver from inside out.
“Oh it is so freezing”,my cousin exclaimed as we stepped out of the heated compartment, and as the raindrops beat against our face, running slyly through the collars, wetting our flesh.
“But the temperature is much lower in Beijing!”his parents said confusedly when they picked us up and saw us trembling. Well, it is true that the outdoor temperature is indeed higher than that in Longyan, but we are talking about the indoor temperature – it is 25 degree in Beijing with three-layer isolating windows protecting us against the cold attack from outside, whilst it is 11 degree both indoors and outdoors in Longyan ,with one-thin layer window that is hardly able to get us off any hands of coldness.
It is not that North people rarely feel the cold, it is just that they are better protected – that is something south people would never understand, just like when North people never understand what makes south people so excited about snow.
During my time in Beijing, I felt nothing like smog. The air had been clearer and fresher, and I even experienced a day of snow. Hope that I would be able to return to that place very soon. However many drawbacks this city has, what she has given me is more than a vast area, but an even more nostalgia memory.
As the temperature drops in Longyan, I am prepared to head home from 13 days’ stay in Beijing. Generally speaking, it has been an expectedly relaxing and pleasant time here in the city, where I start a day with a two-hour training in the gym, and where I get to eat various, well-done food appearing in almost every corner on the street. Even the ordinary, oily stands on the roadsides seem attractively delicious. I wonder if it is a psychological affect, or really because I did not eat anything worth speaking of back at home. I believe that it is because of my nostalgia thoughts, and the curiosity towards the fast developing capital, so that I put up my excitement and eagerness for almost everything aside.
It would be quite different if I stay a bit longer, if I stay two more months, and if my life every day follows the exact same routine.
There are things I dislike about this place, and mostly, the confusing behaviours and the unpredictable reactions of the population. They seem so impulsive, so full of grudge all the time, that a little mistake would cause a huge riot. For example, the other day when I was riding on the bike lane and trying to round about a car that stood still in the middle, only to crash into another bicyclist that came from the reversed direction. I ceased my bike immediately and before I could get back to the seat, she, a middle-aged woman, began to scold at me for being stupid. Gradually, she turned to swear with filthy words. Seeing this scene, I said nothing but apologized briefly before riding away quickly. Because I would not know what more she would conduct, if I stayed a bit longer – she might pretend to fall off the bike, hurt and then ask me for compensation. She might even beat me by starting a fight. None of these conflicts were necessary, I was thinking, for it was apparently her fault throughout the whole thing.
I learnt not to argue with people who try to quarrel with me over unreasonably small things. They are not with a mind of sensibility, they are simply trying to make a fuss by shouting loudly, because in this way, they would look powerful and strong, even though what they say have nothing that could stand a point.
I heard similar stories from friends who aren’t born in Beijing and who come here to chase their dream. Beijingers tend to be fickle and angry, properly because of the huge pressure they have with work, with housing and with the polluted air that keeps drilling into their lungs and hearts. Well, that is an important to change the attitudes in life, to bring sunshine to the folk, yet it might take a bit longer time for us to follow the so-called ethnicities.
Still, I love Beijing, for every great opportunity it has offered to me, and for every wonderful memory it has created in the past or the present being. Hope that it would not be long before I am here again, not just for a day of transferring, but for a longer staying.
I am in Beijing on a visit. The schedule says that I will stay in the city for around 13 days. It has been more than 2 years since I stayed for that long in this place, and I became quite curious and excited about the daily life here, even though it only lasts for less than a month.
Beijing, as it is known across the entire globe, is shrouded by the heavy smog. What we breathe in pollutes the inner organs, making us suffer from sickness. However, during the past few days I have not felt the attack of the terrible air. It is probably because of the sunshine that pierces through, or because of the strong wind that blows by, but for me, all seems fine, and I still feel comfortable biking on the streets.
What, nonetheless, displeases me is the way people behave. I do not like it when cars and other vehicles occupy the bike lanes, and keep honking without a particular reason. I do not like it when people do not follow the traffic regulations but keep on going forward without watching out for the turning of the lights.
I find many Beijingers tend to be frantic and irritable, and when you are dealing with them, you ought to stay alarmed and calm, otherwise you would find yourself scolded for no reason.
It never means that I do not like Beijing, nor does it mean that I am full of complaints. It is just that I have not been quite happy with all of these happenings, yet overall, Beijing is a great place – packed with opportunities, showing all elements of modernization, offering various opportunities for a more interesting and competitive future.
One more thing that excites me all the time, is the choices of food. There are all kinds of restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines. And I just can not wait to try all that is surrounding.
On the twelfth day of the Chinese New Year, I, together with a bunch of friends, was invited by a mutual friend of ours to visit his hometown- The Tufang Village in Changting County. Changting belongs to the city of Longyan, and is located approximately 71 kilometers away from the central. Tufang Village lies in the between, and it takes around 1 hour to arrive there from the center of Longyan.
I was quite excited to be given this opportunity of seeing what a Chinese village is really like. We planned to stay there for two nights, so that on the 13th day of the Chinese New Year, we would be able to watch their traditional, annual activities – the children with costumes plus the home-made lanterns.
We were waken up very early in the morning, before the day even shed a touch of brightness. The costume parade started around 7, following the gleam of the dawn sun. Children below the age of 6 from the village were carefully selected by the organizers, and got dressed up in the costume of characters from the ancient times. Then their parents, together with some other strong, muscular men, carried the well-decorated children upon shoulders and formed up a parade. They marched across the main street of the village, then to the next village, until they covered all the walkable roads and returned to the starting point at around 12 in the noon. Everyone became so tired and exhausted after miles of walking, yet the parade brought a great deal of blessing and fun to all the audience around.
The lanterns are the main thing that attracts thousands of guests around each year to this small village. The visitors filled up the entire street after dinner. They wanted all to take a glimpse at the beautiful lanterns constructed manually. My friends and I held hands together so as not to get separated from the gushing folk. We heard the sound of firecrackers as they were set off all over the street, together with the firework that rushed to the top of the heaven. We audience were all in the smoke, coughing and suffocated, yet according to the tradition, the more smoke there is, the richer the family would be, the louder the firecrackers are, the more auspicious the family would be.
So extraordinary, and so exciting. That’s the pure heart of the village folks.
As the Chinese New Year draws to the end, we all become so reluctant to go back to work. People who are working from nine to five basically have no other time to visit their family faraway from home-town. The seven-day holiday means a great deal to them.
I myself feel that the first few days of the New Year, everything went quite plainly. We received some regular guests – those who would definitely visit us at this time every year. Then we helped grandparents finish their food prepared on the New Year’s Eve, as a way of passing on our greetings.
The real fun started on the fifth day, when most of my friends were done visiting their relatives and got free time of their own to go outside the family zone. I joined a couple of reunions, took some drinks on the bars and experienced some sleepless nights when I chatted with old buddies about all possible matters.
Then they all had to leave Longyan, for the working period started. Those we met were satisfied, and those we failed to, told us that there would be future moments when we see each other again very soon. But we all know that such does not happen, because how many holidays of a year do we have to travel back home to take a look at the old friends. Families come first, work come second, friends always remain on the instant messengers – they never seem to be away at all.
I will soon leave Longyan and head towards Beijing for work, then Sweden, even further from home, and all the new friends I have made during these two months’ domestic stay. I will be back to the solitude, to the freedom, and to the area where I rely only upon the convenience of Internet, counting the day when I would again feel the warm arms.
What is the meaning of being so faraway from home - the pain of longing stings, breaking the heart at an extreme degree. But I created home at another place, where I can live independently, and where I can find the vacancy. It is all meant to happen, and it is all for a reason. Sometimes it is not clearly seen, sometimes it seems never to have been.
Time goes by, and life needs to go ahead, on and on, without stopping.
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