Sofia leads this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and the topic she’s chosen is Urban Environment.
I agree with Sofia, “there are no two identical cities,” despite only been to a few cities all my life. This is Macau. I visited there in 2018 to locate my dad’s death certificate. Though people there spoke Cantonese, all of the signs also came in Portuguese as Macau was once occupied by Portugal. It’s one of those places I will probably be lost if I was visiting alone as I cannot read traditional Chinese characters nor can I comprehend Portuguese.
Even with my aunt and Google Maps, we still got lost that day, trying to locate the government office that would re-issue a death certificate. I’m still not sure whether I enjoyed this city – the non-linear roads, the crowds, the incomprehensible signs – even my GPS was confused.
Across the bridge is Changsha, China, a city in Hunan Province. It was one of the few cities I visited during my 4-month stay in China back in 2017. I think the family felt guilty of not taking me anywhere outside of my hometown during the first 10 years of my existence that my mom ordered them to take me traveling during my stay in 2017.
I stayed at a 4-star hotel that night and found out the next morning just how dog-eat-dog world this city life really was. It turned out this 4-star hotel was a popular spot for Korean tour groups. I don’t know whether it was that group of Korean and Koreans in general, but I got elbowed hard in my stomach by this mean old lady for reaching for a plate at the buffet table.
Of all the cities I’ve been to during my travel in China, I think I still like my hometown – Zhongshan – the best. It has the look of a city but the feel of a suburb. The roads are linear and if you walk around enough times, it’d become familiar. Even the people are nicer, at least, I know I never got elbowed in my hometown.