I visited a shopping mall downtown for the first time in like half a year, and I felt like so overwhelmed. The noise coming from stores, from greeters in front of stores, people laughing, people yelling into the phone or yelling for their kids. You queue to leave the highway, queue to enter the parking lot, the elevator, and for good restaurants. How many people are you with? Ok pick a number here. The lights. LCD, neon, halogen, the claw machines.
I’m wondering — does my heart yearn for what nature and rural villages have to offer, or is it simply to get away from the city?
It’s not that I hate people — not even lots of them. Even though — well, most of the time, I prefer to be alone or just with Eva. But I don’t mind a lot of people in the cinema, not even a hundred voices in the pub, or dozens of whispers in the library. Even a park full of people is nice. But not the shopping mall, or the 5A tourist attractions in China. It’s not just the crowds. It’s also all the business and screaming they attract.
I’ve found that if you get far enough from the big city, you get a lot of space. Not just physical space, but mental as well. Your senses aren’t bombarded, and you can both let your mind wander and start to gather your thoughts. Or maybe it’s because all the worries from the city look insignificant here.
I’m thinking about the shopping mall while I walk around the empty terraces of Zhinan Mountain (指南山) in Zhejiang. Of all the things the city has to offer, peacefulness isn’t one of them.