19 million people in Beijing, 22 millions in Shanghai, 11 M’s in Guangzhou, and in case of Hangzhou, where I live right now, there are 11 million people here. It can be DENSE here. But it is a different thing to know that every fourth newborn in this world is Chinese. So wherever you go, may it be a downtown area, a small park, the city zoo, university or museum, expect to have your private space violated constantly and indifferently amidst the persistent crowds of people flocking around from one place to another.
I had long-envisioned the idea of a romantic sunset along the Xihu river in Hanghou, and so we set out to have a nice time in nature, but it wasn’t to be the type of rendezvous that I imagined in my dreams. Just when my eyes spotted a vacant bench on the river, we rushed to sit down and take off our jackets. But it’s not like you sit down and it’s yours. The West Lake was overcrowded, and a moment later, we had to come to terms with the fact that we were sharing our bench with two elderly people who managed to create space for themselves on our bench, our. But to be honest, the two women were lovely, sharing what they thought about our countries and warmly asking us about our experiences in China. It was a long, warm conversation, which gave us much to chew on, but that inch of privacy on a river, mountain top or at a temple area continues to elude me. My hunt goes on..