Friday, October 01, 2010

City vs. Country

So my new city is Kitchener and I've been here a month now. I've lived in cities before but this is reminding me once again of some of the differences there are between living rurally or living in a town. I don't think people realize what a change it makes to have everything so close together. For people in the country they just get used to having to drive everywhere and the extra time and money are automatically factored in. For people who have only lived in the city they often don't realize just how much they have.

It's interesting to note how stereotypes about each place have developed and how misguided they often are. For example, there is a notion that people in cities don't have a sense of community, that there are too many people to get to know and that people in the country and small towns are like one big family. But when you live in the country you don't see your neighbours. I don't mean you don't take the time to be buddies with them, I mean you physically don't see them. There's often at least an acre of land between your houses and since you need to drive to get anywhere you tend to go from your house to your car to wherever you're going in town without even a quick wave to say hi.

Here, on the other hand, there are people milling about the neighbourhood and I could have three of them will say hello, ask me how I'm doing or comment on the weather before I get anywhere near my car.

Another thing is stress. Many people tend to think that urban dwellers are bogged down by stress and that the country is the place to get away from it all. I say that's just silly. In the country not only do you have all the responsibilities and bills to pay that you would elsewhere but if your car breaks down you're screwed. Here if that happens I can take the bus. I also don't spend half my life trying to get to other places. That means I have more hours in my day.

And forget the idea of rural people being fit from physical work. I am giving up my gym membership because I'm so much more active here.

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