I was watching My Neighbour Totoro (MNT) and it got me thinking about the joys of living in the countryside.
Oh and by the way I loved MNT. It was such a feel good movie. It was so simple and yet so powerful and just, it left me with nothing but warmth and taught me to laugh in the face of fear.
Anyway countryside living… I love it and this movie reminded me of the fact. In Rwanda, when I lived there, I mostly stayed in Kigali but when I was on break from school I went up to Ruhengeri to stay with my grandparents. My happiest memories come from living up there with my grandparents.
Ruhengeri isn’t technically part of the countryside, it’s a city in fact, but it’s a small city. It wasn’t as big as Kigali and when I lived there it had the whole country living vibe. It’s like the difference between living in the North of America vs the South (minus racism). If the South wasn’t racist I would love it, that vibe…it’s more family orientated and you become close with your neighbours and it’s safe to walk around during the day and make friends.
We were close to nature too and I loved that scenery, with the volcanoes in the background, the rainforest close by and just all that green. I also liked the volcanic porous stones we used to decorate our front yard.
Whereas when I stayed in the city I hated it. No matter where you are the city is always colder in a way. However when I moved to England I found Western city living to be even colder. It was so isolating and lonely. I hated it.
Watching MNT reminded me of what I miss. That community feeling, that closeness to nature and that freedom to play and have fun. I feel like every child should be raised in such an environment.
It is good to learn street smarts because you will need them at some point in your adult life. Also there are cons to living in the country, things are further away and that can be a problem if you’re old and need something or if there is an emergency. As shown in the movie when Satsuki needed to call her father but they didn’t have a phone or Mei when got lost.
Also if you have bad neighbours that can be another nightmare.
However if I had to choose I would choose country living over the city any day.