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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Hit Bravo
The question of modernity in the United States
     2011-November-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Roy (罗易)

When I chat with Chinese friends in America, most of them say that their first impression of the United Status is that it is not as modern as they expected. The United States is not as urbanized as they imagined. I feel the same.

Before coming to America, when I checked the map of the surrounding area of Los Angeles, which consists of more than one thousand cities, I was excited about the city of my school, Claremont, which is a college town near the San Gabriel Mountains and not far from the seaside.

But on my first day, all of my preconceptions were proven wrong. The cities were not what I had expected. Most of the cities in Southern California have a downtown, which consists of several blocks of shopping malls and large parking lots, with a large number of one or two-story houses. The size of cities is just like that of towns in China. On the street, I can see so few people that sometimes there is nobody to ask for directions.

I later realized that urbanization does not necessarily mean modernity. Suburbanites can drive to the shops on weekends. They can also cycle through the suburbs where the air is clean and then return home by public transportation — buses and trains have facilities on which to hang the bikes.

Not every crossing has traffic lights, but there is a “Stop” sign, which indicates that cars must stop at every crossing whether there is somebody waiting to cross the road or not. Buses don’t stop at every bus stop; people pull a wire rope to request a stop. When a disabled person gets on the bus, an electronically-controlled device appears from the bottom of the entrance door, letting the wheelchair get on the bus smoothly.

The suburbs are a great place to live.

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