The Reason I am Attached to this Place
   2013-12-13 12:51:42    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Luo Chun

Xiaojian is a Chinese film scriptwriter and vice chairman of the writers' association in Hainan Province. [Photo: Hainu.edu]

Hainan is the smallest province in China. Correspondingly, its capital Haikou is called the "mini-capital city". As an old Chinese saying goes, 'whether deep or shallow, waters get blessed and dragons lurk within'. Historically, the place was considered as only fit for exiles. Now, its unique glamour is attracting more and more writers, artists, entrepreneurs and media professionals to the area. The city is opening up to accept all kinds of newcomers from across the country who are seeking to fulfill their dreams and renew their spirits.

Reasons for Living in Haikou

Xiaojian is a Chinese film scriptwriter and vice chairman of the writers' association in Hainan Province. He was born in 1952 under his full name Wang Jian in the city of Nangong in central China's Henan Province. Whilst still a youth, Xiaojian was sent to join the countryside movement; he then completed around 100 manuscripts centered on the topic of sent-down youth. He has a deep understanding of sent-down youths and the nature of their lives. As one of the first generation of sent-down youth writers, his works were published in "Harvest" and "Dangdai" magazines at the beginning of the 1980s. He wrote the script for "Our Field", China's first sent-down youth themed movie and contributed to China's first series of feature films about sent-down youths. As a highlight of the 23rd National Book Fair in Haikou, Xiaojian brought four new books to his book signing at the event held at Haikou Cultural Plaza this April.

Despite being a modern capital city, Haikou has still left some people feeling dissatisfied due to issues such as its chaotic urban planning, which has caused the formation of disorderly roads and streets; many buildings have been constructed in very close proximity to one another, and are known as "kissing" or "shaking hands" buildings. Additionally, whilst the average income for individuals here is modest, commodity prices in the city are very high, reaching almost the same level as that of large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The bus routes are designed in an illogical manner, so that while you can get on a bus to one place at a certain stop, there may not be a return bus at the same destination. The polluted state of the main water system here is also a source of complaint, with bad odors being emitted from the local Longkun Gutter day and night. The city is also lacking in communal facilities; street parks are scarce and there has yet to be a sports arena constructed in the city. There a
re no traffic lights at many crossroads, and the road behavior situation in general is poor; it is a common sight to three to four people sitting on one scooter.

Nonetheless, a fairly large number of my friends and I have never thought of moving to another place, because there are also many good reasons for us to stay:

Compared with other capital cities in China, Haikou's air quality is superior. Except for on cloudy days, the colors of the sky and clouds here are always an appealing blue and white. Take a deep breath and you will feel how fresh the moist air is. Breathing in such air may not only help one lead a longer life, it can also alleviate bad moods.

The sea is located close to the downtown area of Haikou. In just a few minutes' drive, you can easily reach Haikou Bay and Baishamen Park. Although the clearness of the seawater here can not be compared with that of Sanya Yalong Bay, it is much cleaner than that of Qingdao, Dalian, Qinhuangdao, Shenzhen and Zhuhai. And you will not be able to attain the rotting, salty and fishy smell amidst the sea breeze.

Haikou is an evergreen city throughout the year. Coconut trees are planted all along the curve roads of the Haixiu Avenue. Twenty-five years ago, these coconut trees left outlanders feeling inspired to stay long-term. You can hardly find a piece of naked earth in Haikou as even without particular management of the vegetation, tropical and sub-tropical plants will spread across Haikou's town and villages within half a year. The ugly reinforced concrete constructions never stood a chance in making the green color vanish from the island.

The moderate temperature here is suitable for almost everybody. There is no obvious division between the four seasons. Hot summers and cold winters are rarely experienced by locals, making the city a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Even on a hot summer's day, temperatures will not exceed 38 degrees census. After the sunset, the sea breeze will make you feel cool. On a cold day in winter, temperatures will not drop below minus 10 degree census. Once the sun comes out from the clouds, you can say goodbye to your thick clothes.

In Haikou, there are many good places for visiting, such as the Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark and the mangrove forest in its suburbs; the Dongjiao Coconut Forest and the Former Residence of the Song in Wenchang; the Wangquan River and the Boao Water City in Qionghai; the Nanli Lake and the Wenbi Peak in Dingan; Yingbin Peninsula and Yongqing Temple in Chengmai; the ancient lighthouse and the landing place of the Battle of Hainan Island. All these places can be reached in between half to one hour's time from the city center. And there are no worries concerning the issue of traffic jams. If you set out at 5:00 p.m., you will be able to eat your supper at 6:00 p.m. at the destination, and enjoy a hot spring bath afterwards.

People here live a leisurely lifestyle which contrasts greatly from the non-stop ones of those who reside in big cities. Tea houses, coffee shops and bars are very popular in Haikou. When day turns to night, innumerable local drink venues will come out onto the streets. It's an easy thing for locals to make a call at short notice and get together several friends to sit around tables in restaurants, tea houses, bars or by the seashore in the late hours.

The main reason for me to live here, however, is the enjoyment I gain from swimming in the sea everyday. And when I come out from the water, I don't need to drink wine to warm up.

Environmental quality and mood are two important standards for measuring the living quality of people in today's society, and sometimes these two factors will have priority placing. When it comes to choose a place of residence, a good ecological environment and leisurely atmosphere will not only affected your attitude, but your state of being at a higher level.

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