City Appearances

It is a very vague topic to talk about, guess I am trying to lament on the subject of how two cities go about tackling to keep theirs clean and look reasonably presentable.

It is no denial that the sidewalks in Hong Kong are not what you would call double wide or super clean, as a matter of fact; they are always dusty because of the heavy use by pedestrians and pollutants particles from vehicles.

The city government though, does spend a huge amount of money and man power to beautify what they can, like sprucing up the city boulevards with greeneries and real flowers of the season. Water trucks and workmen can be found watering these plants and the dwarf trees in the morning.

They don’t just do it to in downtown where tourists frequent; they do it in smaller out of the way communities as well. That is a real pleasure to have a chance to admire things that nature provide amongst the heavy traffic, and the huge volume of walking people traffic.

A friend in North America asked me if I feel safe walking in Hong Kong and China. I said I do, any time of the day. A small difference is though, the city I spent three months in China has a chaotic feel to the motor vehicles and pedestrian traffic to it. I see water trucks watering major thoroughfares, and contract worker replants and waters road side greeneries for all to enjoy. But they work dangerously close to the moving traffic, and the drivers have no considerations for the few pedestrians who chose to ignore traffic signs and lights and jay walk, and then chicken out mid way, huddles in the center medians, waiting for the traffic to clear.

City traffic moves in a speed of at least 60 to 70 kilometers per hour, to be honest, I do not have the stomach to cross the controlled intersections even if I have the green walk light, some idiot driver will try to beat you to it to make his/her turn. To be a pedestrian in China, you have to have eyes at the back of your head, literally. Now the city I was in is not even a hugely populated city by Chinese standard.

People all over the world marvel at the way China handles the growth of her cities, the super monumental structures she built for her citizenry, everywhere there are new highways, bridges, apartments, modern office towers, spacious shopping centers, plenty of new vehicles and electric bikes, plenty of humanity, but are they all coming on too fast?

Chinese New Year (Year of the Dragon – 2012) falls on January/23 this year, I went to my local library trying to loan a documentary movie called “The Last Train Home” –

This movie depicts all the guest workers who work out of provinces all year round trying to go home to their families for the festivities, I am the 29 person in line in the system, no matter, and I will wait.

In it you will see the humanities in which I was part of – for a brief three months last summer, my mandarin language capability after the three months?

I must admit, not so good. One has to be part of it to be good, I guess in my heart and soul, I always will be part of it! ……

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