The world isn’t shit all the time, even though it feels like it is. There are little, and sometimes big, things that make us think that perhaps we’re being a bit too quick in being all miserable and nihilistic and branding everyone and everything as worthless and pointless and annoying. That guy who held the door for you today as you were rushing into the office in the rain, that couple who let you go before them on the packed train, the shop assistant who let you get away with being 5p short for a pack of smokes, the barmaid who still gave you the cheap pint offer even though the offer was over 5 minutes ago. It’s these things that make life much more bearable and smoother and without these things, where would we be?
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There are the little things, that I mentioned above, that make us smile a bit. But there are also bigger things that completely blow us away and instead of making us smile, make us mutter under our breath in amazement and force us to stop, look, gaze, dream and realise that away from the grey exhaust fumes, the stories of murder and rape, the declining job-rate, the shootings and tower-block suicides, the bombings and destroyed cities, there are parts of the world that remain breathtaking and wondrous and magical and any other word/s you can think of to describe something that completely blows you away and alters your perspective of life.
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This is one of those places. It’s a lake in China called Crescent Lake and it can be found in the bleak wilderness of the Chinese desert. It can be found 6km south of the city of Dunhuang. It’s believed to have existed for over 2,000 years but it very nearly didn’t happen to exist at all as desertification had set in which meant the depth of the water went from 5 metres (in the 60’s) to 1 metre (in the early 90’s) until the Chinese government stepped in, in 2006, and re-filled Crescent Lake with still water. It’s increased in depth ever since. The name, unsurprisingly, derives from the lake being in a crescent shape, like a half moon.
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One of the reasons why the lake is thought to have survived in the simmering Chinese desert for so long, apart from the re-filling, is because of its low-altitude, and its position prevents excess sand from the dunes of the desert from falling into it.
Crescent Lake is a pretty popular tourist attraction, but China’s still on my To-Do list so I’ve never been. Tourists visit and can ride camels, take photos, buy souvenirs from the nearby stalls and just chill out with the lake for company. I’ll be picking the latter when I visit, maybe with some green and an ice-cold one.