Travel in your own city

A microblog user named G Sangdong posted a series of vlogs titled “Shanghainese Travel in Shanghai” that were liked by many netizens. He was keenly aware that many Shanghainese had lived in the city for decades without knowing much about it. So, he made a series of videos to guide Shanghainese on a tour of their own city.
Not only shanghainese, we are all specks of dust in the vast urban forest. We have become accustomed to ignoring our own cities as daily city walks and shopping become a festival. The streets and lanes become swimming paths, we pass like the wind, the pursuit is unimpeded. The navigation patiently waits for us to enter the destination and then plots out the optimal route. We’re like migratory birds, with clear routes and precise positioning.
Ms. Ye lives on the edge of a city and makes more trips to the airport than to the city. She has long been cut off from public transport and gets around by car or taxi. Most of all, she complained about the city, complaining that the time spent stuck in traffic had wasted her youth. Apart from the weather forecast and traffic conditions, she didn’t notice anything about the city. She didn’t care about its history and future. The people she knew who were physically closest to her were all in the community’s wechat group, with the code name building + Room number.
She knew many place names, but she did not really feel that they belonged to the city. The neighborhood was as foreign as another country. She rarely sets foot beyond 100 meters downstairs. This is really the unique experience of modern people. They may be familiar with the cafes by the Seine in Paris and the church on the street corner in Singapore, but they are particularly unfamiliar with the city they live in. They take it as a temporary place to escape and rush to the distance.
The frog in the well is what we fear most. In the distance, only by breaking through geographical boundaries can we realize cognitive leapfrog. As the boundaries of cities grow further and further away, we become strangers to our own cities. Following the popularity or popularity of the same word, people chase fame away, walking on foreign land, knowing all the sights like the back of their hand.
Writer Chen Danyan said that a city is a living body, which does not depend on landmark buildings or hot searches. Its fate, style, temper and smell are those who have been here, who have been old, and who have passed by. Their long, short lives, song and lament, refinement and decay, darkness and brightness, ebb and flow here.
Have you ever roamed your own city? Use your feet to measure a place two kilometers away, not to visit relatives or friends, but simply to wander around. The streets were planted with different street trees, people we didn’t know walked along the roads, and buildings we didn’t know by name. But we are in no hurry, for there is an air of unhurried haste in the air and in the earth, and the rooted man and the settled tree strive to live.
Every Year, on June 16, many people in Dublin, Ireland, take a copy of Ulysses and embark on a four-hour tour of the city, following the path taken by Leopold Bloom, stopping at the street corner where the story takes place to read excerpts from the book. Those stories, even fictional ones, make these intersections stand out from the bland sound of the city. If we never form a deep connection with the city we live in, but just keep moving through it, it’s hard to find where we belong.
Travel around your city, get close to it, touch its happy face, listen to some sad songs, watch the sunset between buildings, catch a glimpse of the shining blue waves on the glass curtain walls. They are not parasitic nests, not just buildings of different shapes. They are missing and remembered in the flow of people’s fate, quietly comfort and shelter those exuberant human fireworks.

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