[wordhunter] Illusions of pastoral peace

  • From: <hzgmaxwell@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: "wordhunter" <wordhunter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 17:17:03 +0800 (CST)

    The quiet life of the country has never appealed to me. City born and city 
bred,I have always regarded the country as something you look at through a 
train window, or something you occasionally visit during the weekend. Most of 
my friends live in city, yet they always go into raptures at the mere mention 
of the country. Though they extol the virtues of the peaceful life, only one of 
them has ever gone to live in the country and he was back in the town within 
six months. Even he still lives under the illusion that the country life is 
somehow superior to the town life. He is forever talking about the friendly 
people, the clean atmosphere, the closeness to nature and the gentle pace of 
living. Nothing can be compared, he maintains, with the first cockcrow, the 
twittering of birds at dawn,the sight the rising sun glinting on the trees and 
pastures. The idyllic pastoral scene is only part of the picture. My friend 
fails to mention the long and friendless winter evenings in fro
 nt of TV--virtually the only form of entertainment. He says nothing about the 
poor selection of goods in the shops, or about those unfortunate people who 
have to travel from the country to city every day to get to work. Why people 
are prepared to tolerate a four-hours journey each day for the dubious 
privilege of living in the country is beyound me. They could be saved so much 
misery and expense if they chose to live in the city where they rightly 
belong.<p>    If you can do without the few pleasure of the country, you will 
find the city can provide you with the best that life can offer. You never have 
to travel miles to see your friends. They invariably live nearby and are always 
available for an informal chat or an evening's entertainment. Some of my 
acquaintances in the country come up to town once or twice a year to visit the 
theatre as a special treat. For them this is a major operation which involves 
considerable planning. As the play draws to its close, they wonder wh
 ether they will ever catch the last train home. The city dweller never 
experiences anxieties of this sort. The lastest exhibitions, films or plays are 
only a short bus ride away. Shopping,too, is always a pleasure. There is so 
much variety that you never have to make do with second best. Country people 
run wild when they go shopping in the city and stagger home loaded with as many 
of the exotic items as they can carry. Nor is the city without its moments of 
beauty. There is something comforting about the warm glow shed by 
advertisements on cold wet winter nights. Few things can be more impressive 
than the peace that descends on the deserted city streets at weekends when the 
thousands that travel to work every day are tucked away in their homes in the 
country. It has always been a mystery to me why city dwellers, who appreciate 
all these things, obstinately pretend that they would prefer to live in the 

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