as the city empties,

i rest more easily, i feel less hassled by long bus trips, i notice more friendly gestures between strangers, i appreciate the happy jumping of toddlers overdressed in variations of pink bunnywear.

yes, i enjoy spring festival in shenzhen because the mass exodus of folks to homes elsewhere makes the city more livable.

i am not sure how we might establish an index for overpopulation because (a) we are not rats and (b) acceptable (indeed desirable) density does vary from culture to culture, nevertheless, yesterday, as i wandered through streets that were relatively empty, i felt more at ease. in other words, i experience shenzhen’s population viscerally and need quiet spaces.

and yet, the american solution of moving folks out of cities into suburbs didn’t work for me either – i grew up wanting new york and all that global energy.

and there’s the rub. i want today’s shenzhen infrastructure with a 1990s population and i don’t know if that is possible because so many people are needed to sustain this level of development. so new thought for 2011, is this what unsustainable development lives like? and if so, why does even crowded shenzhen appeal more then neidi? and how to unmake my desire for urban life?

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