I understand much more about Jinan now that I have visited Beijing. Jinan has been less Westernized. While Jinan is beautiful and has many special places to visit, Beijing is the capital city with a lot of history and landmarks. For this reason Beijing is more expensive as a tourist destination would normally be.
I think we all really enjoyed the beauty and interesting sites in Beijing but surprisingly were glad to return to Jinan. Had we gone to Beijing first we would not have had that frame of reference and understood the difference.
It is way less costly to live in Jinan. I feel safe in Jinan. Jinan is filled with friendly, hard working, honest folks doing the best with what they have. Sometimes being from the Midwest we forget what a premium space is in a place like this. Not a centimeter goes unused. And sometimes we take for granted how difficult it must be to keep up with the garbage of 7 million people.
But seriously Jinan what is with the honking?? You people drive like you no longer want to live!!