Spring 2014 5 19 14 Monday

59 degrees this morning.

Just returned from an 18 day trip to China, which is why suspended the journal.  I wanted to concentrate on the experience.  I will post my China Journal as a separate entry.

China was a great experience.  I really enjoyed meeting the Chinese residents and seeing the Shanghai, XI’an, Bejing, Wangzhul and then Shanghai.  I attended a Conference in Wangzhul and a Study Tour in Bejing and the other cities were personal tours.  The Conference was truly International in the sense that there were persons from Russia, Australia, Denmark, Nigeria, Great Britain, Canada, and, of course, China and the United States.  It was unique cultural exchange, focusing on the urbanization problems of China and sustainable practices in cities.

Re-entry into reality should be easier, since we currently have no reality.  I am trying to find the “right” job, and we are trying to sell our house so our options are limited by other circumstances.

The experience in China really made me think about my future.  I know I will be more international in my thinking.  While I vaguely knew the urbanization problems of China (and other countries), I was unaware of all of the work that has been done in this area.  The major items about China I will remember (besides the wonderful people we met, and perhaps the wonderful food!) is the emphasis on enhancing residents lives by providing for parks, separate bicycle lanes, landscaped medians (and landscaped separations between the bicycle lanes and regular traffic).  The architecture is spectacular to say he least, especially in Shanghai and Beijing.

Problems I saw were housing (waves upon waves of high rise apartments, it has to be seen to be believed) and the truly chaotic traffic. Somehow it works, but I don’t see how!  Actually the rapid urbanization is a major challenge as well as an opportunity for China.  I understand housing costs may be a major problem for younger Chinese as the costs increase.

I noticed a major difference in each City we visited.  Yangzhul (the “smallest” city) perhaps overwhelmed me with the number if bicycles and scooters (much more percentage wise than the other Cities, with XI’an in second place) and with fascistic facilities for bicycles and scooters.  The people of XI’an were wonderful, but then so were the people in Beijing and Shanghai.

Meanwhile, I have planned the China trip since December, so a major event in my life is now over, other than planning how I can get back to visit again!

I am going to emphasize my knowledge of “sustainable practices”, I think that is a major opportunity for cities in the future.

Meanwhile, back to reality, whatever that is.  Right now, the only reality is change and potential change.  Selling the house, moving, job/business changes.  We love Lakeland, but for what it was, not what is it going to be now.  After the city turned down a much needed bicycle trail and decided all parks should be private, eliminated code enforcement, it is time to leave.  Eventually Lakeland will merely be like the county, without any reason to have a city, except perhaps to further the ambitions of the spoiled brat mayor.

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