Lunch with the Locals

We spent a day with the locals at a hutong neighborhood in Beijing. A hutong is a traditional online pharmacy cialis Chinese neighborhood with concrete houses and narrow alleys. About forty online pharmacy years ago, most of Beijing was comprised of hutongs – before they were demolished to make way for large high rises today. The hutong we went to is protected by the government as a way to preserve cultural history.

wiki1 SInce there’s so few hutongs left in cities, they are now worth millions of dollars. They are either owned by families who have lived there for generations, or wealthy celebrities. The younger generation moved out of hutongs and into high rises, while the old generation is stubbornly staying because they don’t want to leave the community. Our hostess explained to us that everyone is like family there.
(Photo: Wikipedia)

wiki2 The hutong we went to is at city center, close to the Dragon Line. That’s what they call the line that goes down the center of the city (or in Chinese history, the center of the world). It has all the major national monuments on it, including the Forbidden City and Tienamen Square. It’s considered good luck to be near that line.

peanuts alice Here’s our volunteer tour guide, Alice. She’s explaining the layout of traditional Chinese houses. All the houses have a courtyard and a few rooms, all in separate buildings. She grew up in a hutong herself, but moved out to live in a high rise.

house-entry This is the entry way for the house we went into. The land is owned by the government, but the houses are owned by the people. However, the government can relocate people if they need to use the land.

I believe my dad grew up in a similar style house in Taiwan.

house The family was very nice to let us in their home. Here’s our tour group in the living room.

alice-house Here’s Alice again showing us the layout of the house, and old photos of the family who lives here.

Lunch

kitchen-outdoor Our hostess invited us into her house for lunch. Her kitchen is a small room outdoors with a sink and a stove for two woks. There’s a small fridge and microwave in the living room, though I doubt they use them that much. Most of what they eat is fresh from the market.

kitchen-hostess Here’s our hostess making us beef meatballs.

kitchen2 dumplings She made us homemade dumplings! They were delicious.

group-far Here’s our group in her dining room. She also cleared out her living room to put up a folding table for the rest of us.

group2 We ate a traditional Chinese meal which is made up of several small plates of stir-fried dishes. I love how there were so many vegetables.

kung-pao Kung pao chicken with carrots and cucumbers!

onion Stir fried chicken and onion!

duck-potato Duck and potato stew!

eggplant Fried eggplant!

aftermath The aftermath.

hostess Afterwards, the hostess answered all our questions about local

life (our guide translated for us). They’re asking us if we’re full.

Pedicab ride

diptych-pedicab Afterwards, we went on a pedicab ride through the city. I wasn’t sure if I’d be comfortable with riding in a pedicab, but the drivers were having a great time.

pedicab-blanket It was cold, so they tucked us into a blanket.

pedicab-pair pedicab-ride3 It was

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so much fun! The pedicab drivers were goofing off and holding to the cart in front of them to get a free ride.

pedicab-ride2 pedicab-ride It was a really fun way to explore the hutong. It would have also been nice to see it by foot, but we were in a group of unhealthy Americans who can’t walk far (sigh).

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3 Comments

Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. mona c says:

    The dumplings look so awesome! Have you seen photos of our dads’ childhood homes? I don’t really have a clue what it looked like!

  2. stephen C. says:

    that got to be one of the best experience you can ask for on this trip…

  3. Gigi says:

    What a great local experience!

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