Wu Lei and I have been in Nanjing for over a year now and a lot has happened in that time! It’s been a really big learning curve for me but it’s been great. I think the biggest difference is the sheer size… Nanjing is a city with subways (second line opening in a few months), a huge population, and streets you really have to learn how to navigate. I love it here but sometimes I still miss living out west! Country roads and a city you can walk around in and afternoon… people that you get to know because you see them every day.
There are certain things about living in a smaller town interesting. When we lived in Zunyi it was a measurably small place… I could reference it to someplace a bit smaller than Roanoke back home. The fact that its size and life style (a not so fast paced small city life) was similar to my home town meant that I naturally had something to make me feel comfortable there. You could easily get out of town and go hiking, walk along the river that winds through town, or spend time at your favorite restaurant where the cook knows you!
Living is Nanjing is different and the comforts are different as well. I would compare Nanjing to Chicago or Boston in the US. Busy cities that you need to be able to get around in and navigate through if you want to have a normal life there. It’s a bigger city with a much larger population but with its size comes other creature comforts. The perfect steak, a good wine selection (if you know where to go), English speaking Gym staff, better opportunities for business and personal growth; these are things that you simply couldn’t find in Guizhou province. I guess where ever you go there are always positives and negatives… or at least you could look at it like, comforts and extra comforts.