AUTHOR: Madlen Kobi
CONTEXT: Contribution to the Project "Walks to Remember During a Pandemic. 'With Memory I was There'" by Louise Ann Wilson, May 13, 2020
Accompanied by a green tea that was given to me by a Chinese friend during my last visit to Chongqing in December 2017, I am sitting here at my desk in Bern (Switzerland) and longing to walk again through Huangjueping neighbourhood. During my ethnographic research, I developed a tradition of going on both short and longer walks through urban neighbourhoods, letting my curiosity guide me, often without a clear destination in mind. I enjoy getting inspired by particular architecture, the way balconies are used, street life, public places or unexpected views around the corner of the next house. And whenever such an opportunity arises, I stop for a little chat with an ice cream vendor, a school kid playing or the noodle shop waitress. These talks enrich my impressions of a place and create specific bonds with it. I hope to be able once again to walk in Huangjueping in spring 2021 when, with luck, COVID-19 travel restrictions should be over. Then I can continue my fieldwork, enriching my mental map with new lived experiences.
Link to the online publication