Thursday, March 26, 2009

My City

My city is a metropolitan area of a population of about 325,000. It is a tightly compact built city where you can walk anywhere important in 10-20 minutes; although, the best hot pot restaurant is on the outskirts and takes maybe 5 minutes by taxi. It is only a 20 minute bike ride to the edge of town where you will see the vast amount of tan, mud-barren, winter farmland that is sprouting its first greenery of spring. The streets are never empty except in the mornings. The city is not an early riser, yet it goes to bed early. At 9 pm the streets feel empty. On Sundays, you can barely move due to the crowds that take to the streets to shop in its many stores. Also, you do not want to do errands when school lets out for lunch. The streets become a critical mass of bikes. There are five bus routes (1 RMB, $0.16) and a ton of green taxis that charge 4 RMB ($0.66). It is a walkable city yet everyone loves to take a taxi. There is a church, a mosque, and a Buddhist temple. There are three fast food chicken places and several western restaurants where the pizzas are terrible.

It is a miniature Chinese city, a shrunken version of the bigger ones. It has all of the same stores, restaurants, and even has the same look. Maybe the uniqueness of my region comes with the homes built within the clay walls of the plateau, but that is the countryside. My city reminds me of all other Chinese cities except it is smaller, yet the number of people doesn't feel any less.

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