I feel a little awkward when thinking about the topic of transportation on the diet, since I neither own a car nor plan to own one. That really restricts me when I want to tick more boxes on our checklist, doesn’t it? ; ) Seriously, I like the transportation conditions I have now, which means walking and bus mostly, and taxi in very urgent situations.
To let you know my situation, I have to tell you something about my city Harbin in my perspective. The urban area of Harbin is 2,089 square kilometers (806 square miles), which means I can take about one-hour on the bus from the east side to the west or from north to south if the road is not too busy.
So you see, it’s a quite small city as a provincial capital in China. What’s more, our university is just in the city center, so I can definitely get to a place by bus or even on foot if I’m not catching a ready-to-go train or something like that. In fact, there are few students who own a car at our university, or at other colleges in China as far as I know. It’s still a dream for most Chinese young people.
However, I have to say I’m quite satisfied with my transportation conditions now. Since I was a little child, I’ve loved strolling on street sides, lanes, river sides, or wherever else only if the air is clean the scenery is not bad. After I came to Harbin, I fell in love with this place, especially the summer here. I almost go out walking for about one hour every day since last month. Sometimes I walk to the side of Songhuajiang River and then take a bus back, or sometimes just nearby the campus.
When I walk past the old Russian-style buildings or look down from the arch bridges, I always feel so happy I haven’t called a taxi or gotten on a bus, where I would only see those beautiful things running so fast backward through a closed window. I wouldn’t be able to watch the old houses lying below the bridge; nor would I see the little grass rising around the trees. Walking gets me back to the corners of this city and let me get close to them so I know they are real.
Certainly when I’m in a hurry or it’s in frigid winter, I will take a bus instead of being late or suffering the coldness. Taking a bus gives me an opportunity to get out of my usual circle and be close to some “new” faces, though not for a long time. It’s also a treat for me, if the bus is not too crowded or caught in a traffic jam.
Maybe I have my own advantage that I’m in college, and students in college are less busy in China. I can enjoy my life more, and I can afford to walk or take a bus without worrying too much about time. If so, I will really thank goodness and enjoy the precious “now”.