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English ex-pat David Richards, 24, lives near the beach (left) in Dalian in Northeast China. He contrasts the civility of life there with the decadence of
Brighton Beach and English life in general.
by David Richards
Two cities I have visited, Brighton in England and Dalian in China, possess beaches that are startlingly similar. Yet the behavior by each set of holiday-goers couldn't be more different.
Dalian beach is a wholesome environment where families relax and elderly people do Tai Chi. Brighton beach is a scene of vice and depravity, hosting drug-fuelled raves and gay sex.
I currently live in Dalian, a prosperous coastal city in North Eastern China. The city has many beaches to cater for wealthy Chinese holiday-goers.
One particular beach is very reminiscent of a traditional English seaside holiday. There is a fairground with a rickety Ferris wheel, bumper cars and arcade games. There are stalls selling candyfloss and ice cream. Extended families play card games under parasols and children play in rock pools.
The beach is also pebbled and has a pier; characteristics that make it look virtually identical to Brighton beach. The similarity ends there.
Brighton is a liberal paradise housing all kinds of alternative lifestyles, sexual experimentation and drug use. The city is known as the gay capital of England and has a large permanent gay community. Every year it hosts a world-renowned gay pride festival.
It is the sort of place you don't blink twice seeing a 6 foot 5 black-transsexual in a mini-skirt down your local grocery store.
I visited the city because I have some friends and an aunt who lived there. During my time in the city I stayed in different homes and youth hostels, meeting a lot of people. Most were into drugs and/or various new age ideas.
The locals are very sexually promiscuous and proud of it, mistaking their fixation on their carnal desires as the height of liberty.
I wasn't comfortable with Brighton's promiscuity. I lost my virginity when I was 19, and while that doesn't seem very old in retrospect, by the standards of my generation it is very late.
I lost it late not due to any lack of desire or opportunities, but because I couldn't work with the mating rituals of my generation, namely getting drunk and kissing random people and then 'seeing' each other. I would talk to a girl and like her, but recoil when she would get drunk at a party and stumble towards me like a zombie, expecting us to kiss in front of 15 onlookers. I couldn't butcher sex from intimacy.
Being a virgin in a promiscuous generation riddled me with doubts and insecurities. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I act on my desire? The longer my virginity went on, the insecurities built up like water against a dam.
I was still virgin when I lived in Brighton so I found the open sexuality of the city provocative.
English girls are out of control wherever you go but more so in Brighton. One example sticks in my mind.
I went to a bar on the pier with a large group of young people who all worked together. One of the guys was apparently quite a player and slept with many girls. A big-breasted blonde girl in the group was furious with him for some unspecified reason, and when he went to the toilet she started screaming and shouting obscenities about him- that he was nasty and treated people badly etc- and then spat in his pint (which he returned to and drank). Later in the night she went home with him!
I was in Brighton during the gay pride festival (left.) It featured floats representing the gay community from all over the world. When I was there Amnesty International sponsored a pink tank to drive through the city, on top of it were lesbians with crew cuts drinking cans of lager and laughing like hyenas. I couldn't work out what they were celebrating, as no one in Brighton is homophobic. Who were they in defiance of? It seemed to me to be their own sense of inadequacy.
Most of the gay men you see in Brighton are not like the funny charming ones on TV; they're largely ugly middle-aged men who smell of alcohol. They stand outside bars smoking, leering at every young guy that walks past.
On the night of the festival many non-gays also come out. The locals view it as their own Mardi Gras; a time for party and free expression. Many guys also reckon that girls are easier during Gay Pride. I found the scene of people running around desperately trying to quell their sexual desire depressing.
With many mentally unstable people on drugs, Brighton beach can be dangerous. I remember being accosted one evening one the beach by a 'gay chav.' For non-British readers, a chav is a teenage delinquent from an underclass background. They wear sports tracksuits and 'bling', and abuse drugs and alcohol. The boys pride themselves on being macho, so the bizarre sight of a 'gay chav' is presumably unique to Brighton.
The teenage boy stumbled up to me holding a knife and told me in a camp but menacing voice he was going to f**k me. Luckily the beach was fairly crowded and fear snapped him out of his drug-induced frenzy, and he ran off.
In great contrast, the scene on Dalian beach is wholesome. Families play together on the beach, old men gather in groups to play chess and smoke. 50 people gather around a karaoke machine and sing old songs. In the beach promenade there is a stereo system and in the evenings middle-aged couples dress up and ballroom dance while dozens watch.
Young couples take strolls along the beach and in the evenings can buy a lighted hot air balloon and release it into the sky: their love shining over the city.
I am not writing this to glorify Chinese people, but to show how far we have been degraded. Before the Illuminati attacks on family values and morality, the scenes at Brighton beach were wholesome like those in Dalian.
While Dalian is not a particularly interesting city, with little cultural value or nightlife, I much prefer living here than in Brighton. It is a settled environment where I can focus on work and building a good future. In Brighton, with its myriad perversions and altered states, I cannot achieve emotional equilibrium.
I am young man from a lower-middle class background, so I wont be given an easy ride to a successful life. What I do in my twenties will dictate my future. You reap what you sow.
If I choose to live a hedonistic and degenerate lifestyle I wont be going anywhere.
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Dalian is in Liaoning, where my grandfather lived before moving to Taiwan. Long before the beaches in Liaoning and the tropical resorts were developed down south in Hainan, the most prominent beach was at Beidaihe, where CCP leadership enjoyed their Summers from Mao-era up until 2004. When the resorts in Hainan were developed, it was touted as China's Hawaii, and cheaper/easier alternative to visiting Hawaii. But the cost of Hawaii tour packages for Chinese residents have fallen from 17,000 RMB down to 8,000 RMB in recent years, so now many Chinese tourists are coming to Hawaii.
Mao Tse Dong in Beidaihe
What a joke. Those beaches in northern China are about is similar to Hawaii as Mars is to Mercury. I bet even the best villas in Beidaihe are lacking in many ways. And a lot of Chinese seem to enjoy beaches in the dead of winter too. For example, I remember a watching a beach area near Qingdao one March from the warmth of a nearby building. It was packed with people strolling and even sitting around enjoying the scene on a sunny but very cold day. Seems about as natural to me as drinking warm cola in the summer (another first for me in China).
Have you been to Hainan Island recently? Last I was there (6 years ago), it still seemed like a dirty and poorly developed backwater. Sure, weather is decent (tropical/sub-tropical). But development wise, it didn't hold a candle to Phuket or Bali. I'm sure its probably better now, but still a far cry from Hawaii or many of the beaches in Florida. Beaches in Taiwan suck even more than Hainan did 6 years ago. CCP geezers can think what they want.
I've never visited Hainan, only Beijing, Tianjing, and Shenzhen. But I'll try to drop by Sanya next time when I'm in the area:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY-ggs5h ... re=related[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iws_TZg8 ... re=related[/youtube]
As for beaches in TW, have you considered taking a short flight to Penghu? Summer seasons are very popular so require advanced booking:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2WIkMiq ... ure=relmfu[/youtube]
I've been told that Penghu's beaches are superior to Kenting, but since I don't live there, I rarely have the chance to visit and compare:
Because my ex's brother in law lived in Yilan, I was usually stuck having to go there with her family on weekend trips whenever I visited TW. The beaches there is mostly rocks and have a rather nasty sudden drop from 3-4 feet of water to 8-10 feet of water.