Note: this is an archive piece retrieved from my last days in Lianyungang
Yesterday a Chinese friend and I went to Xugou in order to soak up some rays on the beach. I should make it clear that I was the only one interested in a) exposure to the sun and b) contact with the water. Generally those are two elements akin to Kryptonite where the Chinese are concerned…those and sitting on dirty surfaces.
The beach we went to was located on Liandao Island. Liandao is a remote offshoot of the Xugou seashore. It offers fantastic vistas and an escape from the perpetual smog of the mainland. There were an inordinate amount of dragonflies buzzing about that afternoon—which has moved me to dub Liandao “Dragonfly Island” for future references.
Swimming in some waters off Dragonfly Island can be hazardous. Not due to any natural peril, because after all the beaches are quite serene in their own right. Dangers arise in the form of manmade devices. The very same cove at Sumawan Beach that is ideal for bathers/swimmers is used to give thrill rides on assorted watercrafts. Jetskis and motorboats are zipping about and crashing through the swimmers’ area at an almost constant rate. The jackassery and swashbuckling attitude of the jetski dudes is especially irritating and perilous. They’ll zip through a crowd of swimmers without a second thought as to who they may crush asunder or leave crippled from the neck down.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a beautiful beach in an absolutely fantastic setting. But swimmers beware! At any moment you could be mowed down or left in the wake of some reckless jock that’s showboating for the couple of ladies on the shore.