Night of Jinan

I have lived in Jinan for five years, and I always have more grudge than gratitude toward the city—the lethal winter and tragic summer, the constant spitting action, the flood and springs of filthy water, the noise fireworks on every Sunday morning, the car emission (walking on the street of Jinan in peak hour is like sticking your nose to the pipe of a huge truck when it starts)…

ImageBut every city has its charisma, so does Jinan.It is a reversed version of Princess Fiona, a ghastly ogress in the day, but a fair lady at night—when the sun sets, the city light itself up by lights—but in no way by the bold, grand, harsh and colourful light that lights up the entire sky, but by small, amber lamps, here and there, in a very conservative and simplistic manner. In the cozy light dominated by a tone of amber-yellow, Jinan people take their daily post-dinner stroll to the park, go toImage their night time street BBQ plus draft beer, or simply sit on some random steps waving their fans.  In particular, men, either with apparent six packs or equally apparent stomach fat, like to go topless, bathing in the cool summer breeze, regardless of their physical attractiveness. It is a admirable confidence in our age when so many men are using eyeliners on a daily base.

But do I love Jinan? Hell no; do I recommend others coming? Probably not; but for those who already plan to come, I would suggest taking a walk at night. You may stroll down to the Shungeng road, the place where the legendary Emperor Shun Yao once farmed in 22nd BC. The road leads you all the way up to the Qianfo Mountain (the thousand Buddha), a greenish hill that takes upmost 20 mins to reach the summit. There will not be much light on the mountain at night, but the steps are difficult to go wrong. A little effort will take you all the way up to the top, and sitting in a small pavilion you can see the entire city in the midst of warm light, whispering stories of history and modernity.

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3 thoughts on “Night of Jinan

  1. I passed through Jinan earlier this year, but spent some time in Jining. For you a small city, I guess, but for me, it’s bigger than any other city I’ve visited outside China.

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