The Rebirth Of Nanjing

by hermes7 on October 17, 2012

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Is yet another “dude with guitar in China” shot tasteless posing? Absolutely not. I learned to carry a guitar at all times in China because the people appreciated music deeply, and it was a great way to make friends.

And having a jam in some of China’s most scenic places felt ambrosial, especially when people stopped to hear me. The good vibes in Nanjing created one of my most memorable “rockin with the immortals” experiences. It’s no accident that it happened in Nanjing. The city has come a long way from its past horrors..

Nanjing felt different as soon as I got there. It felt more like Beijing after exploring several old cities. Glitzy office towers, stores and neon signs lined both sides of the street during the taxi ride from the train station to my hostel. I had mixed feelings because I enjoyed being immersed in the towns with little international buzz. But Nanjing quickly grew on me.

 

Many of its streets wind, and lots of trees line them. They also bustle with lots of students. These three things reminded me of Berkeley. Nanjing is a university town, and its students give it an optimistic air.

I met a family from Tanzania at Emperor Hongwu’s tomb. The parents were visiting their daughter who had studied at Nanjing University for 4 years, and  was about to get a degree in international business. She beamed as they explored the grounds. People are now coming to Nanjing from other continents to build their careers.

Nanjing can boast a large crop of skyscrapers by its Purple Mountain. The Zifeng tower, at 1,476 feet, is 9 feet higher.

But not everything was rosy when I was there. A large group of elderly people  demonstrated in front of the government building, and several were yelling in the face of a policeman who stoically listened. China’s new wealth is unevenly distributed. The young and educated can have a good time, but old people without skills and migrants from the country are struggling to get by.

But wide income gaps plague the whole country. Nanjing bubbles with lots of fresh young people who might improve the system in a few years.

Lonely Planet says that people in Nanjing are still very conscious of the Nanjing Massacre. But its growing economy, youths, beautiful natural scenery and rich historial heritage are helping to create a future that gives people many reasons for optimism.

Rock on!

 

 

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