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【40 Years of Reform and Opening-up】Our Improvement in Traffic Keeps Pace with the Country Development

Time:2018-12-11 20:19:00 Source: China Youth China Youth International

  In 1980s, I was born in the easternmost town of Ruijin of Jiangxi Province, named Ridong Township, 40 km far away from Changting County (a strategic area in Fujian since ancient time) across the mountain. In this area a nursery rhyme was on everybody's lips that “In the season of black-eyed peas maturity, a young woman is going to marry a man in Changting County. In hometown it rains lightly, but in Changting heavily…” Having sung this rhyme and heard the older generations’ stories of trading in Changting from childhood, I engraved “going to Changting” in my heart.

  Before 1978, comparing with going much further to trade in Ruijin, villagers preferred walking across the mountain to do business in Changting, so feet wore a rugged mountain path connecting these two provinces, which was wide enough for only one person to pass at a time. When villagers planned to go to Changting in this rugged path, they hurried on the way early in the morning before dawn broke, carrying paddy to sell and some solid food on shoulder poles. After tramping over mountains and through ravines, they finally arrived at Changting at noon and sold paddy out in the county fair. Then they quickly bought goods for weddings, funerals, or Spring Festival and headed for home without a stop. Usually it was late at night when they got home.

  As the older generations worked in the field tirelessly all the year round, it was joyful that they could sell what they harvested and buy a few necessities from the outside world in the slack season, though they had to go uphill and down dale. The first sewing machine in my town was carried back from Changting with a shoulder pole. It was not an easy work because the carrier had to put rocks in the basket carrying the machine body to keep balance. I also learned about Changting from my aunt. She told me at eight my father (who was twelve then) took her to visit a great-aunt who was sent to Changting as a child bride. When they passed by an abandoned airport apron piled with garbage which was built in the Republican period, my father mysteriously said: “When I shout 1, 2, 3, run and never look back.” My aunt did so. Running past the apron, they looked back and saw a swarm of flies leaving the apron in a cloud, flying and buzzing around.

  In the 1980s, as more families used bicycles, it was impractical and inconvenient to walk across the mountain by bike. Therefore, the older generations used their feet and bicycle wheels to blaze a road to Ruijin County. “Going to Changting” soon became history. Nowadays, I often think of my sitting on the crossbar of my father's Phoenix bicycle, striking the bell in high spirit, and fearing two sharp “teeth” of the brake lines on the middle of handlebar. All I remember are warm memories. The suffering of buttocks caused by the bumpy road is totally forgotten.

  In the first year of the new century, I went to junior high school. Different from the city children who were only worried about their study, rural children still needed to deal with problems like accommodation, eating and drinking. Each week when I went ten more miles to return home, I had to prepare all necessities for the next week. When I wheeled my bicycle on the way back to school, struggling in the storm with the muddy road alone, I cried for the first time, and vowed to leave this "badland" in the future.

  Today, eighteen years later, the hometown I once hated has become a sentimental attachment to me, and the former badland has become a good place with developed traffic. From “going to Changting” to “riding to Ruijin” to “convenient transportation”, all these have witnessed the development during the past 40 years of reform and opening up because our improvement in traffic keeps pace with the country development. Whenever driving on the cement road in my hometown, I couldn't help but stop for a while, use a camera to remember the beauty, and share the moments in my friends' circles.

Editor:Hou Qianqian
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