LVAxDKU | kunshan

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
— Nelson Mandela

Kunshan is a small town. it's one of the 200 cities in China with 2 million people. Just a small, tiny, village, right? The people here are reminiscent of small-town people with hearts larger than Shanghai. 

On Sunday, we spent our day exploring downtown Kunshan. We met some of the happiest + good-natured individuals, I'm sure, in all of China. It makes such a difference when you visually are an outsider, let alone when you're carrying tons of gear, that you connect with the locals. I met a manager in the infamous noodle house, man practicing tai chi while flying a kite over 500 feet high, a man who just wanted a portrait of his dog, a man making beautiful lollipops, + lots of kids who just wanted to practice their English. 

Here is a quick run down of our day in Kunshan:

  1. Yangcheng Lake-Sunrise but not really. Rather it was serene, calm, chirpy, and foggy.
  2. Sports Complex + Poly Theatre-Neat, modern architecture with a beautiful square of fountains, ponds, and perfectly planted trees.
  3. Aozao Guan Noodle House-Home to the infamous 1000-year noodle bowl. The legend of this bowl's long, never-ending, insanely thin noodle promises a very long life. Here I learned the longest phrase of mandarin I know: 谢谢你让我拍张照片 (Xièxiè nǐ ràng wǒ pāi zhāng zhàopiàn)...or, "thank you for letting me take your photograph."
  4. Downtown Kunshan-The people. I want to live here + create long-term friendships with these folks. Especially the tai chi kite flyer who was practicing for a kite-flying competition. You get extra points for tai chi while flying + he wants to "make the people of his Kunshan proud of him."
  5. Tinglin Park-Lots of attractions. Adorable children. Women in heels make big hikes to the top of Kun Mountain. So much pollution you can barely see all of Kunshan. 
  6. Government Building-Kite-flying kids. Roller skates + lots of open space.