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People and Space

2011 June 18

On my trip to China and Hong Kong, people were everywhere. Everyone lived in tall apartment complexes and just walking the streets, it was hard to not bump into someone, literally.

This is something I’m not used to, since I grew up in a suburb. Although I went to college in an urban area, there was at least enough room to breathe. The too-many-people-in-one-area moments were confined to special events like Cal Day or big concerts.

But in China, nope. Everyday and everywhere. People, people, people.

The country’s definitely encountered problems with people and space, which it has tried to address with its much publicized one-baby policy. Not sure about the numbers, but this created some generational/gender balance problems and the government has loosened up and changed their stance a bit.

As a visitor, it was weird to step outside and be instantly surrounded by others. Especially in Guangzhou, malls were packed all the time, even on non-school-break weekdays. I kept wondering how so many people, of all ages, had the time. You don’t ever see that in America.

But perhaps it’s fueled by much improved technology and transportation. The recently built and still expanding Guangzhou Metro subway system is extremely convenient, with trains coming every 3-4 minutes. There are also buses and taxis everywhere. People can now get from point A to point B so much faster. Why not take advantage?

packed Guangzhou Metro station during rush hour


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