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JIE FANG BEI PEOPLE-- UNCUT 解放碑人 ChongQing, China 重庆中国

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

September 9, 2013

Such a fun adventure. Many of the Chinese people who live here in ChongQing get out at nights after work and go places. It's like an event every night because there are so many people out.

I am loving being around all of these people, so many of whom are super friendly. Not all of course, but so many are.

VIdeo below: English narration by Grant Pa Johnson for this page and its text.

Of course we are a novelty of sorts in this city, way inland... a 1000 miles from those large cities like ShangHai or BeiJing which have a more significant "westernized" element... but ChongQing is a much more authentic Chinese culture experience, in my opinion (IMO). It is precisely because of the lack of western influence. I like it.

Video below: Original video

In this video above, we start out in the historic section of old downtown in ChongQing, a place called Jie Fang Bei (解放碑) where the People's Liberation Monument stands (人民解放纪念碑).

Then we veer off out of the modernized square there where the luxury stores and electronic signs exist, and go out into the older streets where there are real people with vending stands, selling foods and treats, the sights and sounds of the noisier streets... it is quite an adventure. We always loved just wandering around together and seeing whatever we found... We eventually find a bus home or if we can get to the subway station in time (closes at 10 pm) and take the monorail home. That's our preference. But if we miss it by being too late, we can usually catch a bus for anothr hour or so. After that, you have to find a taxi and with our large family we could only fit 4 in one taxi, but we have 7 people: Mom and Dad, and 5 kids. So we would have to be lucky enough to see two taxis waiting, and I could talk to both of them, to guide the taxi drivers with where to go. So risky! Walking is also an option of we are within a mile or two from home. Still, this is the kind of challenge in getting our large family around the huge city, and trying to stay together because of the language barried.

Our Mandarin teacher, Li Shuang, she took us around the whole peninsula island on a nice guided tour, taking us first to go ice skating, then to a delicious restaurant where we had such delicious fried rice like no other.

Then we went out into the night onto the tip of the Yu Zhong peninsula where the large boats pass and many are docked, and colorful lights are on all of the boats and buildings reflecting off of the large river waters which flowed swift even though the water was very deep.

You could walk right up to the waters edge, concrete stairs accommodated all levels of the river year round, so that you could always be on steps whether the water was high or low.

It was very warm out, summer weather prevailed, and the water was nice and refreshingly cool.

After all the festivities that night, we then had to find out way home by walking some distance (miles) to the nearest subway station, and then on a long ride home, only to have to get off and walk another mile in the late night at about 11 pm or midnight on some occasions. An exhausting super fun night, this time, and EVERY time we did it.

Comments from Facebook: LB Keep these videos coming, I'm loving it ! RJ Too cool! I'm glad you guys are having this adventure and posting videos so all of us can join you!! I love that random people come up to you and want pictures with you! It's hilarious! SRA Hey dad, I remember that song! Isn't that something I did on the chordboard? GJ Hey Bear, yes, that last song is one that you wrote (Mayan Eyes) and the one before that, one that I wrote (Straight Line). Great instrumental music, upbeat. You wrote that song in 2007. SRA Cool! Such a long time ago, I can't wait to not be busy and start writing music!

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Grant Johnson
Grant Johnson
Dec 18, 2023

The City of Chongqing in this particular area is very interesting. The downtown portion sits on the top of a high mounded peninsula and is covered with tall buildings. There are so many meandering streets and lots of hills and even more stairways and escalators. You really get your workout while exploring. I ate a ton of food and lost about 45 pounds in the first months of being in China, so it's a great activity. And on a pretty much daily basis, a lifestyle. Having no car over there, it forced us to try new things, which turned out to be a lot of fun and we miss it.

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