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【Memory of the past 40 years】From “river bath” to “heater bath in winter”, people’s life is upgrading!

Time:2018-10-18 20:05:00 Source: China Youth China Youth International

Eating, drinking and sleeping are the basic needs of human beings. Bathing, as another necessary part of our life, leaves me many memories.
To my memory, I enjoyed my first bath in the Luohe River surrounded by endless sand, on which many rural people lived. I frequently sifted and sold the sand with my parents then. During hot summer days, swimming in the crystal clear, fish-filling river was my favorite. Besides, hidden crabs dotted the shore.
When I was in junior high school, my mother bought a medium-sized wooden basin, which acted as our whole family’s bath tool. The five of us rushed to bathe in the wooden basin every night. Yet the bathing water had to be picked up from afar, and the people who bathed in front were always urged by the people behind. As our income increased year by year, wooden or plastic bathtubs were no longer sought-after for us.
In the third year of my junior high school period, our house was accessed to tap water, rendering the long way of water-picking a thing of the past. With tap water, bathing became also much easier. My father brought back a big iron bucket, which was made into a simple shower together with my mother’s plastic pipe and sprinkler. For this, we three brothers and sisters couldn’t be happier as summer bath was a magnet for us.
Winter, however, is a difficult season for home shower, as the winter sun couldn’t heat the water in the iron bucket, and home heating was absent then. Consequently, we always waited until the Chinese New Year to take a shower in the county bathhouse, costing us the price of several meals. Hating to part with the money for shower, we were exceptionally desirable for a hot bath at home in the winter.
Where there is a dream, there is a time of dream-fulfilling. When I was in college, some villagers’ houses were equipped with solar water heaters that enabled them to take a shower at home in winter. Winter bathing was thus no longer a torture but a pleasure. It could be predicted that the folks’ houses that installed water heaters were stormed by villagers who wanted to bathe. How simple and cute were the villagers!
When I graduated from college and went home again, my hometown changed dramatically. As contracting became all the rage, some villagers ran pig farms, and some started flour mills, largely ramping up their incomes. Private cars and particularly bigger houses decorated with solar water heaters on the roofs were owned by more and more villagers, emitting the warmth and richness of life.
Now in my house at Xi'an, a gas heater was also installed, making winter shower a comfortable experience. My parents stated that “our living conditions are getting better and better, this is something that we couldn’t imagine before”. Every time my father calls my younger brother who works in Hanzhong, he will invariably ask him to do a good job and create a happy life through his own efforts.
The world dwells in a drop of water and a grain of sand. The change of rural bathing is the witness of China’s reform achievements and our constantly improved happy life. In the past 40 years, with the breeze of reform and opening-up, the countryside has undergone tremendous changes in economic construction and social undertakings. For the sense of gain brought by China’s mounting economic strength and the people’s living standards, the villagers have the most say.

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