When I was in Korea people asked me where I was from. My response was excitedly, “the third largest city in Arkansas”. I say excitedly because I know how ridiculously small our city is compared to “small” cities in the rest of the world. Jonesboro has roughly 70,000 people if you count everyone that is in town on Black Friday. The response I would receive back from the students was always, “Wow! You live in a village!” Yes… yes, I live in a village and we are the Village People, just kidding about the Village People. But here is some interesting information about my current “village” in comparison to my new city.
Jonesboro vs. Xining
Area: 80 sq mi (207.2 km²)
Located in North East Arkansas in Southern USA
Capital of nothing…
Population: 2.2 million
Area: 2,846 sq mi (7,372 km²)
Located in North East Qinghai province in North Western China
Capital of Qinghai
For more information on Xining, click here!
Below are two maps. One is the USA and the other is China. These maps show where Arkansas is located and where Xining is located. Since I couldn’t find a map that pinpoints Jonesboro in relation to the USA, I am using the entire state of Arkansas on the map.
Let’s just be real, if you type “Jonesboro, AR, USA” into google, you do not get maps, you do get a conglomeration of pageant girls, cars, the university, and beer cans. Ok, so I made the last one up. I love my village and the people within the village. Just making fun while I still can. It was much easier to find a map with Xining pinpointed than it was Jonesboro. So you get what you get here.
When Xining was being explained to me, I was told it is not big enough for a Starbucks. Which is/was fine with me since I really do not like Starbucks – I have my own favorite coffee shop, insert shameless plug for Shadrach’s Coffee here. At that point you really start thinking about marketing tactics, for example, Jonesboro has a free standing Starbucks, one on campus, and two in the mall (then again, can you really count the last three since they just brew their coffee and it isn’t a real one?). It may be too small for a Starbucks, but it is not too small for me. Xining offers mountains to be climbed, temples to be explored, coffee shops to be enjoyed, and streets to be wandered.
The more I talk to people about my new city and the more research I do, the more excited I get.
Only five more days!