I never thought I would really write a post like this. But here I am, three years later, blogging about a place I loathed for a little while. I think it was part of homesick-ness that I hated it, or dealing with the sheer amount of people that live in this city. Nevertheless, I find that my routines around the city are some of the things that truly make me happy these days. Even though I don’t particularly like my job, at least I’ve come to terms with Shenzhen.
Here are some of the reasons I like it here:
The ‘locals’ – I hesitate to call a lot of them locals simply because most of them are migrant workers. Granted, there a LOT of them who are “new money” and as a result of major consumerism hitting China, feel a sense of entitlement at being treated better because they have a lot of money. However, for every snobby person out there, there are two or three more nice people in their place. I’ve met some really nice locals who take the time to say hello, and through conversing with them (whether I am a customer or they are just strangers off the street) I am privileged to get a glimpse into their lives. Examples include a nice barber that cuts my husband’s hair who always has a smile on his face and is never stressed, local electronics vendor that lets me know which products are quality and which ones will rip you off, my regular merchant at the local wet market, and the nice manager at our local breakfast eatery.
Cool old buildings – ok, maybe it is because I am a foreigner here, but I love old architecture, and for lack of a better term, a more “authentic” way of life. Shenzhen is a very hectic place, and I normally find myself incredibly annoyed at the malls and busy roads. Step into an old ‘village’ behind most high rises, and you’ll find old concrete buildings, with people who are kind, considerate, and don’t give a damn about how fast they go. If I am out early in the mornings, I find that sometimes I am by myself, which is glorious.
Convenience – ok, getting from one part of the city to another sucks, but it is getting easier. What I mean is having five supermarkets at my disposal, calling for delivery from almost any store (if I smoked and wanted a pack of cigarettes from the convenience store downstairs, I just call and someone comes to my apartment!) and the ability to walk to most places I need to.
Here’s hoping to another good year in Shenzhen.