As many of you know, we moved into a Beijing hutong– a traditional single-story home in a traditional maze of houses that makes up a close-knit community. Anyways, its been a bumpy and rewarding ride. I recently painted the interior of the hutong, spending a bit of my own cash to fix up the place. Here are some before and after pictures, which I know everyone loves.
The Living Room:
Anyways, life in a hutong has been a bit of a rewarding challenge:
- Culturally relevant
- Close to Beijing’s unique culture
- Large and relatively affordable
- Vacant and dismissive landlord
- Shoddy construction, ongoing problems
- Expensive utilities
Many of the reasons we decided to live in a hutong include the upsides listed above, but more importantly, the hutong homes in Beijing are so unique and beautiful that they really inspire a sense of living in another time. You can walk through the hutong alleyways at night, when the streets are void of sweet potato salesmen, street sweepers and thousands of meandering elderly folks, and it feels like you have time warped back a generation. Thats the number one reason we live in a hutong, the sense of time lapse and the feeling of being 100% in Beijing, and nowhere else.