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China café: “no swimming”

Swimming in my local reservoir is forbidden. But the Chinese have a different attitude to rules

By Mark Kitto   July 2010

The swimming season has begun. I go to the reservoir at the foot of the mountain every morning on my own, and again in the afternoons with the children on our way back from school. It is early in the season, so we have it to ourselves. The water is warm on the surface and cool beneath it.

The reservoir is about 300 metres long and 100 across. It sits in a high bowl in some foothills, with no buildings or cultivation overlooking it. There’s a gentle man who grows delicious peaches in an orchard just below the dam.…

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