A customer gets change in a self-service grocery store. [Photo/Beijing Youth Daily]
Julong Town, located in Huian County, Fujian Province, is a neighborhood of 7000 residents. While the scenery here is undeniably beautiful, it is the people who make the town special. For almost ten years, the residents have been committed to upholding the highest moral standards.
In Julong Town, no one pockets anything found on the road. Doors are unlocked at night. Everyone trusts each other like family. Much of the harmony can be traced back to the culture of ancient China. "It's just we lost that culture as we pursue economic development. Now we have to find it back," said Guo Zhenhui, the town's founder.
There are some four hundred car owners in the town providing free rides for the residents. Every day the drivers post their place of departure and destination online. Anyone who goes to the same places can just give them a call. Three months ago, Lin Zhihui, a resident of the town, received a call from a mother. She asked him to take her two daughters to Xiamen, the destination he posted yesterday. With pleasure, Lin drove over 100 kilometers with the children until they arrived safely at their destination. He even bought them some snacks to eat on the way. He and the mother never met, neither before nor after. "That's just what we do here. We trust each other," he smiled and said.
There are eight self-service grocery stores in the town with neither cashiers nor surveillance cameras. Customers take what they want, and put money in a box. If they need change, there are bills and coins in different denominations placed under stones on the box. The stones are engraved with a quote by Guo, "Honesty has no price." A black board hangs on the wall. People who forget to carry money with them can write down the product price and pay back later. "I check every month. No money has been lost so far," one of the store owners said. She opened her store three years ago, and spent no more than two hours in the store every day. "I can leave the store open for days, and no one would steal anything," she said.
There are no strangers in Julong Town. "My neighbors know where I put my keys. They help me close my windows when it's raining," said a resident. "I never have to lock my door. I don't even lock my car. Nothing has been stolen," said another resident." Jiang Liqin, who moved into the town 8 years ago, used to think the whole story about the town was a public-relations stunt. "We are all families? It has to be a joke!" All her doubts, however, were gone after a few months. "I lost my phone twice. The property management office called me right away saying someone found my phone."
Jiang once broke her left wrist in a fall. Living alone, she had to call the property management office for help. They took her to the hospital and took very good care of her until she recovered. "Everyone is so kind to me that I feel like I have to return the favor." So when Jiang heard about an 80-year-old woman living by herself in the neighborhood, she decided to pay her a visit. "I learned that she did not have many friends in town for not speaking mandarin. So I started to invite her to town activities." The old lady, who used to seldom step out of her house, said that day was one of the best days in her life.