Living in a concrete jungle

10 Feb

Inside of a little box, you can so easily forget how your box has been swallowed and sits in the bowels of the living, breathing, thriving, decaying, wheezing concrete beast that is this Chinese city. In each direction, just in your line of sight, you see thousands of other boxes. Forget “little boxes on a hillside.” We’ve got stacks of boxes all on top of each other, spilling into your face, your nose, your eyes and ears, filling your lungs and crawling under your skin. This city pushes into your perception, creeping right up to the barriers set by your sense of personal space. Frequently, spontaneously, it bursts through, poking, jabbing, groping, caressing, punching you. It is all of these things. It does all of these things. It’s a concrete jungle, and it understands no concepts relating to slowness or comfort or consequences.

It is simultaneously moving and unmoving. Stoic, massive buildings sit unmoving, mountainous rocks or legos or bricks. Yet they seem to perceive the world in and around them all too well for comfort. The little bleeps and movements of life swell and fade, poke in and out of every orifice, whisper and shout endlessly into the organized chaos around them.

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