Francesca Roberts

My experience in Chongqing


Francesca Roberts

By Francesca Roberts

As a young British woman living in Chongqing I can leave Chongqing knowing the truth of one idiom, life is full of changes.

My experience of Chongqing has been varied, from living out in the backwaters of Banan (before the train traveled to Yudong) to the metropolis CBD of Guanyinqiao to the now very pleasant Lieshimu Geleshan. And I lived in Nanan in between. The term CBD takes on a different meaning when you realize there are at least five in Chongqing. All of them are very distinct but still very 'Chongqing characteristic'. I think a district or even a street without some reference to spicy food is probably slightly foreign, as are those places without a the scent of a construction site, bang bang worker or someone selling snacks. This to me embodies the Chongqing flavour.

Another particular aspect of Chongqing is the ever presence or 'people mountain people sea'. Traffic jams, people jams, and downright pushing when you get on or off the metro remind you that this municipality really has 35 million people. As a Brit the constant violation of queuing is quite upsetting, until you finally allow yourself to be swept a long by the tides of people. Or take a lot more taxis. Any easy mistake to make though is to assume that the attitudes of the crowd are similar or even unified. The incredible diversity in people’s backgrounds and opinions isn't as obvious as my home town, London. At home getting on the underground normally involves encountering at least five nationalities and hearing a few different languages. But when you get talking to people, and get past the ‘small talk’ it really can be fascinating to hear people's ideas on the pollution, politics, art etc.

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Editor:Liu Kan