Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Viva Chongqing

Today's Guardian has an interesting article about Chongqing, the city in China where my grandfather grew up. Apparently, it is now the largest and fastest-growing municipality in the world, with 32 million residents. I visited there once with my grandparents, in 1992, to celebrate the centennial of the hospital my great-grandfather administered back in the 1920s. I remember the city as being fairly small and quiet. That might just be my faulty memory, but I imagine that the growth of the city has largely occurred in the last decade or so, especially with the nearby Three Gorges dam. Millions of farms and small towns near the Yangtze river were displaced by the dam and reservoir system, and Chongqing is probably the closest city to emigrate to. It's a mysterious country, China.

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