I was so busy recently, busy with everything, the new office location for the full-time job, the position changes, the end of the part-time job, the new plan for the coming year, and how to treat myself well.
It brings me back to my hometown. I wish to take a break and fly back to my hometown. My hometown, Nantong, is a small city in southeastern Jiangsu province, China. It has been almost 3-year since the last time I went back. You may not hear the name of my hometown before, but my hometown is right beside Shanghai, so every time I say the name of my hometown, nobody would know, then I would say it is near Shanghai, that everyone knows where my hometown is now. How hilarious it is!
My mum moved to Shanghai now, and I have no place to go when I am back in Nantong. My hometown seems to become a concept in my brain that I do not have anything physically left there besides my memories. But still, I miss it so much!
Nantong is a super small city in my memory. It got the rapid economic growth in recent years right before I left there. It was the Tier 4 city in my memory, and now it is Tier 2 city. Every time I would say this fact in a self-deprecating tone. However, there is no denying that this is a great city, which is rare in China where the air is still fresh. So in my memory, my hometown is not presented by the skyscrapers in the new region to represent the economic power but the small alleys near my elementary school, the old city center with the old gathering square.
I believe this is the magic of the Chinese alleys. In these places, further away from the crowd people. Compared with the hustle and bustle of the city, we can only see small bikes weave through these alleys, and the traditional house of the city grows in a wider world and more authentic people.
When people want to express something, they carefully measure the distance to the mainstream representation and the Angle from which they are viewed. But when there is something really growing inside of people, all they care about is the nourishment that the land provides. We want scenery, freedom, and a home, all of which grow from deep within us. The corners in the city bear them with its distance.
Everyone wants to enjoy peacefulness under the pressure of modern rapidly changing life, just as everyone has something to say to our own.
My memory of my hometown may be faded away. But these alleys would be in my memory forever.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Life Outside of Design Studio and has been updated for accuracy and completeness.