<A> Peace by the River

Written by Jul 4, 2006 10:07
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Reflecting and Reflections

Jilin, though it shares the name of the Province, is not the capital. But it has all the splendour of a capital, without the responsibility! It is a scattered city, with a very fine university and plenty of students from inside and outside China. Being in the north of the country, it boasts a very pleasant climate, in distinct contrast to that of cities further south.

My stay in Jilin was punctuated by eating out - food is reasonably cheap - meeting friends - the citizens are friendly people - and wandering alone by the great Songhua Jiang that divides the city.

The municipal authorities have taken pains to beautify the banks of the river. There are parks and coves and resting places. People can walk for miles in peace and quiet and look across the placid waters to the other side. Among the bridges, one is particularly impressive - stolidly standing there in quiet dignity, reflected the while in the waters below.

I spent many peaceful hours dangling my feet in the water or contemplating my reflection there. In the solitude, it was easy to connect with the city's past and recreate long-ago times.

I recommend Jilin to travellers of the older generation. Loud music and disco joints are out of place. Jilin is a sort of pensioners' paradise. Come and enjoy it.

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