What makes a city? what makes a good city? I wonder.
I start to have a mixed feeling of Shanghai, from love, to dislike, to annoyed, to now feeling, maybe, I could live here, someday. It is, tolerable, in a sense that, it is so massive and dynamic, and there is gotta be a corner for me, and a person for me, just that I need keep an open mind to it. What made me think this way isn't something of Shanghai, but I was thinking to live in Seoul.
But then, it is just another mega metropolitan, another million people that I do not know, and I had impression of a happy tourist, and a hope of an opportunist just like a kid wondering into a new candy shop, a new theme park — everything is new, everything is exciting, everything seems possible ← even when I am typing this, the underline assumption is that, everything good is possible! I wasn't thinking at all that by using the word "everything", well, by definition, it includes both good and bad, doesn't it?
How biased human is! How self-centered one naturally is! and how optimistic one is without a reason! I think this is indeed human nature, at least it says a lot about myself than anything else I say and do.
I like watching people, like watching them walk in Starbucks in the morning, on their way to work or just to hang out. Time is indeed a luxury that many have, but few cherish. Many fancy office ladies came in for their morning drink, I don't know whether their body is used to a coffee in the morning, or it is only a psychological need, be it an accessory to her dress of the day, or her feeling of herself, or a step in her daily routine. Any, and all, I suppose.
Doesn't matter. Everyone is going through 24 hours, somehow, someway, no more, and no less. I was thinking, what makes being young, so desirable, so naturally beautiful? Is it an endless possibility? energy? fine skin? flush hair? beautiful boyfriend/girlfriend? ... Actually, I feel none of the above. If there is one word, I think it is care free.
This word has many times popped to my head recently, care free. Yes, I think it is exactly what American were giving the world of being cool, being, American → care free. This is what nobles and old moneys feel superior to others, not because they have many rules to observe, which they do and they are baked in their body and mind. Yet, it's the gesture of being care free, the atmosphere of a care free mind, like the Western cowboys, like a dare devil who adventure, that is charming, is mysterious, is interesting.
Time, is universal to everyone. Care free, is hardly available, to anyone. The burden of middle age is exactly the opposite to being care free, and that's why it feels sooooo, tiresome, so depressing, so little with hope and excitement, and you need to amass courage to battle, to counter, to stay afloat. Kids are wonderful, because they are genuinely care free ← honestly, they don't care. Adults, if being care free, is either terrible person who is rude, insensitive, and bogus, or is really great because s/he has a free soul.
I don't know which extreme I am at. I'm flattering myself even to guess this, because I'm neither — me, like zillion others, is living in between, between care frees, yearning for it, but we can not be. This may sound like a cliche, typical middle age crisis, poor guy.
But there are many other forms, how about being care free and still not cool? being not care free and not responsible at the same time? I am trying hard to keep a free mind, to keep that part care free, yet I need to fulfill responsibilities of family, as I have promised to Lei, and it is part of me, like integrity — I will do what is right, whether anyone watches or not. But indeed, I have witnessed many, who lost touch w/ themselves, who walk around without being responsible, without feeling guilty about it, and making care free a gesture, not a nature, and that's really, annoying, because what they display is the exact opposite of being care free — they care so much of what others say, and they lost themselves in others' eyes.
So, what makes a city? what makes a good city? I wonder. City is a mass of people. I think it's the people, the people that makes a city charming. And a city full of care free people, will be the wild wild west... No. Care free is not a label you can tell. It's a feeling you can sense, like chatting with a stranger, with a friend, you can tell, what type of person s/he is...like this guy sitting on this table, across to him is, what, his mom? his lover? I don't know.. but he is really annoying, really really rude, and he display a gesture of, terrible personality, yet he might think he is cool.
Well, so if you encounter, in a random way, more of care free people in your way, than usual, I would say, that is a city, that is a good city. By this standard, I have to say, Shanghai, is far from it — there is one person this mega city I care to know, care to think, and feel pleasant with. She is care free, and I wish her that way, forever, and ever.
Please, 美丽的人, be care free.
— by Feng Xia