I love living in Nanjing, don’t get me wrong every city has its problems but for the most part it’s a great place to be. That being said, it is a pretty big city and it certainly has the huge population that most cities in China do. Some people are great living in a sprawling metropolis, they feel right at home ducking and weaving between the millions of commuters and don’t mind the “sardine can” effect of metros and city buses. Me, I’m from a little place up in the mountains and while I like to think that I have adapted pretty well to the jostling hustle and lack of personal space in Nanjing… Some times I needed a break!
Thankfully, my in laws’ place provides an escape and every so often we have enough time to flee the city and go see them. It’s crazy what an hour in the car can do. We leave Nanjing, with it’s massive amount of construction, thousand year old city wall, and super modern skyscrapers and then all of a sudden we are in the countryside. It’s re-energizing, calm, peaceful, almost therapeutic. Flat fields and wide canals, open areas speckled with traditional white-wall black-roofed architecture, and best of all no pedestrians, public transit or honking horns. It’s heaven!
It’s also great for my son. He loves being at grandpa and grandma’s place. Not only does a visit like this mean that certain restrictions are lifted, but my in laws love to spoil the little man and he knows it. That and the fact that the environment change is a natural stimulant for his little mind. I am a strong believer that kids should spend time outside. There is nothing wrong with getting a little dirty, digging in the mud with a stick and chasing the ducks that live in the pond next door. How else are you supposed to be able to sample the world around you.
The only down fall to this trip was the weather. It’s been horribly hot over the last few weeks and this weekend wasn’t any different. With temperatures over 40c (double it and add 32 all you fellow Americans) it meant that we had to stay inside for most of the day and just go out in the afternoons. Still time the time there was great. Grandma took the little one and gave my wife and I some much needed rest. I did absolutely nothing work related, meaning my phone was off and I didn’t check my email. I did get to help water the garden and move some of the potted plants into more shaded areas. But when you live in the city and don’t have a garden of your own, gardening doesn’t count as work. It was the perfect overnight get away.
Now if I could just talk my father in law into letting me build that pergola out back!