P – Population

I am always curious about the population of cities I visit.  Mainly because when I moved to China, I was fascinated and shocked about the fact that within a 150 mile radius of where I live is the entire population of the United States. Let me spell that out for you.  Within a 150 mile radius there are more than 300 million people.

That is just amazing to me.

There are 10 million people in the city of Shenzhen, where I live; 25 million in Shanghai, my favorite city in China, 19 million in Beijing and 8 million in Dongguan where I work.  In all there is a total of 1.3 billion people in China.  That is a hell of a lot of people.

So, when I heard about the population in Australia, this time I was shocked and fascinated.

There are only 22 million people in all of Australia; 22 million.  In a place that has a land mass bigger then the United States there are only 22 million people.

300 million in the US and 22 million in Australia.

The US doesn’t feel overcrowded.  At least not where I am from.  I figured that Australia would be even more spares.  Although 85% of the population live within 50 km of the coast line.  In a way it just doesn’t feel like there is a lot of people in this city.  We went to play golf today at The Australian yesterday.  A private club that was established over 130 years ago.  Even though it was raining, we were the only people at the course that day. Even in the rain, you would never find an empty golf course in China or the US for that matter.

Having dinner at any major restaurant in any major city in the world and you would need to make reservations at least a day in advance.  For some restaurants you need to make reservations weeks in advance.  We had dinner at one of the best seafood restaurants in Sydney.  It is called Manta.  There was no one at the restaurant.  We got right in.

In general, it feels like fewer people are in this city and that is a strange felling for me after living in congested Southern China.

But, there is one other population fact the I believe Australia has every other nation beat.  There are more sheep in China then people.  I am talking 4x more sheep in Australia then there are people.  If the sheep every got together and wanted to take over, they would have no problem.

Moral to this story, keep the sheep happy.

Bizarro by Dan Piraro

How cool is that?

 What do you you even call such a place?

One of my all time favorite ways to waste an afternoon is to wander around a book store.  I walk up and down the aisle of books with no idea what I am looking for.  I read titles.  I read the back cover. I look at the book cover art and without fail, I always find something thats interesting and something that I have never seen or heard of before.  No matter if it is the small independent book store in my college town or the mega book stores in every mall(you know who you are), I always find something that I just have to read.  I usually stick to certain sections such as brit chic lit, crimes/cops/PI stuff, and the travel section.  Occasionally, I wander into the cooking or biography section.  But, it never failed, there are always books that I have to buy; way beyond my budget and my book shelf space.
Before I moved to China this was a weekly ritual.  Now,  I am only able to partake in this activity when I am home for a visit.  Chinese books stores are nice, but hard to understand. (Note – I don’t speak Chinese).

I think I would be really disappointed if I came back to America and they were all gone.  My comfort, my source, my sanctuary, my inspiration, my book store.