I am supposed to write reflection papers as part of my leadership course. The guideline says that we do not have to answer all the questions that we pose - "the questions are a sign of curiosity and a continued desire to learn". That'z interesting.. so, I don't have to answer all the questions I have.. hmm.. I think I will get back to my assignment later.
In all my travels, I have wondered if it is the people or the place that makes an impact on me. Most places (if not all) have made me happy probably because of the freedom and independence they give me.. or may be because I get closer to myself, as Alan Alda says - "You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."
In a way, places are like people. There are some places that you fall in love with at first sight; and some you start liking with time. New York city for example.. I have not been particularly interested in the US but when I stepped onto the streets of New York, it got me immediately - it was love at first site (spelling intentional)! I don't understand how it happened. A city full of buildings and roads and cars and cyclists and people.. Same with Mumbai I guess.. NYC and Mumbai are often spoken of in the same breath, as both places offer a lot of opportunities, welcome anyone who dares to dream, are resilient, etc..
And there are places like Toronto, which I took some time before I started liking it, bit by bit. Sometimes it was the long walks on the quiet streets, sometimes it was the beautiful fall colors, sometimes it was the way the old and new blending so well with each other..
And the people are one of the nicest I have met, second only to the Swiss.
Cities, like people, have character. In Economics class, I tend to feel even countries have character and our prof doesn't seem to like any!!
Anyway, I am not sure whether cities shape the character of the people or people shape the character of the city. As the Canadians say, it depends :)