On our Narrow, Hectic Street by Emily

by Emily

When we lived in Turkey we lived on the outskirts of a bustling metroplex. From our balcony we looked across hills to a valley and pond. The university where Tim taught had a goal to plant a million trees on its campus.  Over the years we watched them grow upon the hillside. Maybe I expected some of the same serenity and solitude in our Chinese home. Not so here.

Our street

Daily, hundreds of people pass outside our building’s wall. They walk, ride bikes or scooters, take buses or taxis or drive cars. Our street is noisy with peoples’ chatter, and there are pleasant smells of pork sizzling and of sauces cooking. Occasionally there are unpleasant smells. Every few feet there is a different shop — restaurants, window makers, dress shops, a copy machine store, a clock shop, shoe shops, lingerie shops, shops for produce, tea, grains & nuts, groceries of various small sizes, places selling sodas and cigarettes. Shoe repairmen set up shop on stools on the sidewalk.

People often live above or behind their shops.

From our kitchen sink, I watch the family who every morning unload a huge quantity of bananas to resell.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
In another family the husband makes windows. Their daughter is preschool age. They  cook their lunch in the garage where he works.
The man on the bicycle cart recycles boxes.

On the corner is a bakery we have come to frequent almost daily. This morn Tim tried a red bean latte (real beans). Zoe and Sumner spend their money on pastries.

I found myself singing a line from a love song in the movie “My Fair Lady.” It says, “on the street where you live.” I couldn’t remember the rest of the words so looked them up. Here are some of them,

“… Are there lilac trees in the heart of town?
Can you hear a lark in any other part of town?
Does enchantment pour Out of ev’ry door?
No, it’s just on the street where you live!
…. People stop and stare. They don’t bother me.
For there’s no where else on earth that I would rather be.
…. on the street where you live.”

I’m not in love with the street, but I am intrigued by its life.


8 thoughts on “On our Narrow, Hectic Street by Emily

  1. Oh I love the pictures and descriptions Emily. Funny it looks a lot like the streets here in Antalya (except for the writing on the signs!) with all the scooters, bicylcles and hustle and bustle outside. And is there any other place on earth that you would want to live (at least for this short time?!)?

    • Wendy, this blog stuff is so new for me. I’ve not posted for weeks because I don’t like our site home page, if that’s what you call it.
      So I keep looking back at the post every few minutes to see how it looks and low and behold there was a post from you. Here I was thinking the “world” was all asleep, but not so, right, in many wonderful parts of the world.
      So good to be back in touch. I miss our writing group and weekly get togethers.
      Much love, E

  2. Hello Emily! So exciting to be able to be able to keep up with your family while on this adventure! The pictures look much like those I have seen on television, but without the smells and sounds!

    • Yes, it’s much like on TV. City life is so out there — at least in areas like where we live where the people work where they live and so their life just sort of spills onto the sidewalk. I love watching it.
      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Emily,
    How absolutely wonderful the daily experiences sound! Thanks for sharing!
    It’s fall in Macomb and lovely. 🙂

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