Across China: Free drinks help Chinese outdoor workers cool down
CHANGSHA, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- In the hottest period of the year, Huang Qingxiu, a 53-year-old sanitation worker, was pleasantly surprised to find a freezer with free drinks and several types of fruit at her community public service center.
Although Huang wears a straw hat and loose clothes, her clothes are always soaked in sweat. She used to take a big tea cup with her and refill it at least four times a day.
On Wednesday afternoon, despite fierce heat, Huang, who usually takes a break at the community center, walked out to start clearing streets.
At the door, when Huang was told that the cold drinks in a freezer were provided free of charge by surrounding businesses, she "first felt surprise then very warm in her heart."
She took a swig of cool water from the free drinks, which are shared specially for outdoor laborers, including sanitation workers, delivery staff and traffic police, in Changsha county in central China's Hunan Province.
"My work street cleaning has always served these merchants, and now I am enjoying their service," Huang said.
For takeaway delivery man Liu Jianhui, his busiest working time is around lunch. This is also the hottest time of a day, so two or three 1.5 liter bottles of water are needed a day.
When he found the free drinks in the community, he not only took a bottle of water himself, but quickly shot a small video with his phone and shared it in a chat group for delivery men.
"It's much more convenient. And the freezer is placed at the door of the community public service center, so it is not embarrassing for me to get water here," he said.
Next to a restaurant a few blocks away stands the first sharing freezer in this small county. After it went viral on local social media platforms, more freezers with free drinks appeared on local streets, and more residents came to send cold drinks.
"The free drinks were sent in cases but were taken in bottles, so the supply of cold drinks is even more than those taken," said restaurant owner Xiang Juan.
For the remaining "cool supplies," she intends to take to the streets and give them to outdoor workers.
Sanfu, also called China's "dog days of summer," refers to three 10-day periods that are predicted to be the hottest days of the year.
As many Chinese people are battling scorching heat this Sanfu, more and more freezers sharing free drinks have been seen on streets across the country.
After netizens shared pictures of the freezers on the Internet and social media, more touching stories were heard from across China.
In Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, a little boy put a letter in a sharing freezer. The letter said: "When thinking of my father who delivers packages on such a hot day, I feel distressed. Thank you, uncles and aunts who gave water to my father, you made this summer more heart-warming."