Gray Matter


Big City and Small City Living - It’s Better Outside

RT Cunningham | July 12, 2020 (UTC) | Locations

big cityWhy would anyone want to live in a big city? That’s a rhetorical question and I don’t expect an answer. Of course, how do you define big city? A person who has always lived outside a city probably thinks they’re all big.

People use words like “town” instead of small city and I suppose they mean pretty much the same thing. The terms “city” and “town” (or “township”) seem interchangeable depending on locations around the world.

Small City Living

I grew up in a small city. I lived in Coolidge, Arizona, from birth until the age of 13 and then at the age of 17. In between, I lived in a rural area closest to the small city of Kapaa, Hawaii (on the island of Kauai).

Coolidge, Arizona was about three miles in length, along the highway, with a grand total of three stoplights. It was about five miles in width, separated by a railroad that was somewhat parallel to the highway.

The population was under 7,000 when I joined the military. It hasn’t grown much since then. I learned to drive in Coolidge while I was home on leave in 1980. I didn’t have a lot of traffic to deal with and the road test was a breeze.

Mobile phones and laptop computers didn’t exist back then (the old mobile bricks probably did). A lot of people didn’t even have telephones (the old landlines) in their homes. The Internet wasn’t even a dream back then and the last time I was there, internet connections were just as bad as they were in the suburbs of the Philippines.

Life was simple back then.

Big City Living

I don’t know why, but Josie (my wife) likes living in a big city. When we lived in Phoenix, Arizona, she was happy about it. I suppose it was because she considered Tacloban, Philippines a big city (in her memories). She was born there and lived there until her early teens. In reality, the population of Tacloban is about the same as Olongapo. Except… we live in the outskirts of the city in Olongapo.

I like living outside the downtown area of Olongapo. Technically, our house is within the city limits but you would never know it by looking at the area. It’s far enough away from downtown that we don’t have to deal with any crowds when we’re there. Although there’s traffic moving in and out, it’s nothing like downtown. Our particular street ends in front of our house.

Although many people might call Olongapo a big city, with around 200,000 residents, I won’t. When you’re rubbing shoulder to shoulder with more than a million people, now that’s a big city.

Suburban and Rural Living

The area we live in (when we’re in the Philippines) is one of the suburbs of Olongapo. Sub-urban, get it? I can handle suburban living but I don’t like rural living. If it takes more than an hour to get to a city, whether it’s a small city or a big city, it’s too far out.

When I lived in the small city of Coolidge, the small cities of Florence and Casa Grande were less than an hour away. Believe it or not, there are cities even closer to Olongapo.

Anyway… although I can handle living in either a small or big city, I would prefer not to.

Photo Attribution: Free-Photos from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other sites in June 2017.

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