source: Shenzhen Radio, August 18, 2006
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The following is a translation from an article by Radio Shenzhen online. My translation may contain some errors, and I am grateful for any hints, advice, and corrections.
The original used to be here: http://www.szr.com.cn/szr_news/detail.asp?newsid=1565
One country - different worries. The places where summer really wreaks havoc is elsewhere. Many places in China are suffering from drought - as covered by the BBC World Service:
»» BBC coverage
Life in the city looks much more trivial - at least when described by Radio Shenzhen.
Too hot today: Hunan restaurant in Shenzhen
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Under the fierce sunlight, sun protection sells
By Shenzhen Radio reporter Zhou Ming, 2006-08-18
Under the scorching sun, with high temperatures day after day, life in the city becomes unusually hard to bear, and the city people are busy to find ways to cool the heat. Retail trade also gradually gets ready to deliver protective products and services that help to resist the heatwave.
The cause of the stuffy heat mainly is that there hasn't ben rain for a long time, and that humidity is relatively high. The meteorological office says that the dry weather has been going on for six days now, and its forecaster, Mr. Liu, has this to say.
"Recently, we are mainly affected by a subtropical front, and the air currents are coming from the North on every level of the troposphere. Therefore, temperatures are rather high, from 11th of August up to now, there hasn't been rain for six days, and in addition, there aren't too many clouds that could hamper the sun from burning so fiercely. So this feels rather hot."
The met office's Mr Liu says, it seems that although the absolute temperatures aren't really that much higher than usual, Shenzhen belongs to the coastal area, where humidity is high, and that exacerbates the stuffy feeling.
"The coastal area is quite hazy, so this feels quite sultry, especially this morning, the haze has increased the heat by about two degrees. This adds to the feeling, it's not very comfortable, you easily sweat, feel particularly hot, and for the coming week there won't be much precipitation either. Weather will remain very sunny and hot."
To travel under such circumstances is tough business. The airlines have taken a lot of special measures to help passengers avoid heat strokes. For now, with success. Southern Airlines say that none of their passengers have yet suffered a heat stroke.
"Here at Southern Airlines, we have adopted eight big measures, one rather important one is that at the terminals and on the planes, we have handed out medicine kits, with refreshment oil and other articles. On the ground, at the counters, we also provide refreshment sweets, and on the planes we have special cold towels ready for passengers in need. And we switch the air conditioning on earlier than usual. So far, there haven't been any heat strokes among passengers."
For the industry and trade, the heat spells opportunities that are usually hard to get. Reporter Zhou Ming went to Carrefour, SuiBao, and other big supermarkets, and to some small shops, too. Heat protective products sales everywhere are much higher than usual. In many of the supermarkets' beverage departments, the staff are working hard to arrange the articles on offer, because ice cream sells very quickly. A Miss Du who buys ice cream frequently says that ice cream is one of their heat protection methods:
"With the weather as hot as this, how much ice cream do you eat?"
"About two or three every day. It helps to lower the heat, and to quench thirst."
Different people have different methods of avoiding heat. Some leave their homes less often than normal. Some apply suntan oil, some drink a lot of cold tea, and one mother, taking a walk with her child, tells:
"We carry a parasol to keep the sun off, and I give her boiled water to drink, and at home, I cook some green bean syrup. If it is too hot, she is very fond of ice cream. As it is very hot now, and no wind, she drinks some more boiled water."
During this sweltering summer, retailers of cold tea and tea leaves have much better business than usual. The woman who is boss of a tea leaves shop tells that tea leaves sell very smoothly:
"Chrysanthemum, Kuding tea, Qingshan green tea - these three articles sell quite well. Green tea, hot days... When it gets too hot, drinking green tea usually lowers the heat. The sales are much better than during wintertime."
A mineral water sales manager says that right now, mineral water sells twice or three times as quickly as usual:
"Weather and sales are definitely related. How much more sales do we have? About twenty or thirty bottles more per day. Everyone needs more of it now. Boss, how much more is it?"
"We sold three pails in three days recently - now it is two pails a day."
The heat will go on for some more time, and we would like to remind the people of this city that before going out, some sun-protective measures are essential. Also, one must not stay in hot environments for too long, to get through this heat period safely.