Growing up in the suburbs, I never thought that I would one day live in the city. I grew up with five huge gum trees in the back yard and with plenty of green grass on which to play. I was used to empty streets during the day; and walking past houses set in large gardens on my way to school. The surroundings were calm and quiet: birds chirped in the trees, and dogs barked at the odd passer-by. Thinking back to my childhood, I know I grew up in an environment coloured by nature’s paintbrush; a place that offered tranquillity and serenity if you wished for it.
Now I live in a city surrounded by tall, grey buildings. Patches of grass can be seen; but they are slowly being replaced by the modern skyscrapers that are built to home the increased number of residents in this city. I experience the noise, the crowded sidewalks the long queues, the brusque residents, and the knowledge that I can never truly know the sensation of solitude when I am surrounded by humanity.
Living in the city has its pros and cons. Many amenities are within walking distance: the hospital, the supermarkets, the library, even the post office. Owning a car is not a necessity as the public transport has frequent buses and trains available to take you to your destination. Theatres, art galleries and museums are within easy reach; as are evenings of dining out after a ballet or listening to an opera.
Spots of tranquillity can be found in the city I inhabit. I cannot find it, though, in my own back yard; or walking down the street in which I live. It is for this reason we have created a space of tranquillity in our own home: a place where we can be at peace; a place which we hope may not be intruded upon by our neighbours.
What is your experience of living in the city?
(This blog post was inspired by Jake and his stunning graphics. The prompt for his weekly challenge this week is City.)
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012