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Paradiselost

(2018-12-15 17:07:07)
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杂谈

    In summer 1977, I was one of the three teenagers my village in central China had sent to a remote mountain to patrol an irrigation dam. Our mission was to report leaking and prevent sabotage. For weeks we slept among mosquitoes, crickets and snakes, along the irrigation channels.

During the day the sun was blazing and the night was long, lonely and sometimes scary. In the mountain village the night was so dark that you could not see anything just a few steps away. Electricity had not reached there. Each of us took charge of a section of the dam about two kilometres long. And we teenagers were very proud we were doing something important.

Last week, the three of us had a meal in Jingmen. Zhiqi and I had been in touch but Jingsen I had not seen for four decades. Both are grandfathers, Zhiqi now manages a construction site, and Jingsen a grocery.

The cotton fields we used to work had been turned into solar farms, and our local schools closed down.

We tried not to be nostalgic but the truth was obvious: it was fun to work the fields and we as teenagers had never felt poverty or hardship the slightest. Since 1994 I have lived in Hong Kong, plowing the stock market. We are all better off but the fun factor is long gone. #china #finance

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