A hutong in Beijing
We accidentally stumbled on this third world side of China, when the toilet in our hotel room overflowed. It couldn’t be fixed at sundown.  They suggested for us to go to the hutong in the alley to brush our teeth and go to the bathroom ( a community of  houses that have one room where a whole family lives in that room) .
After having seen the entrepreneurial spirit, the royal palaces, the restaurants, and the silk art banners, it was a shock to see this contrast!
One Word Sunday


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Sunday Tree
In summer it is so nice to have shade passing here.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. I haven’t traveled out of the States to many other countries, but when I have and have seen the poverty that exists in those places it always punches me in the gut and opens my eyes to how a lot of people on our planet are living. I marvel that they haven’t caught up, or why their governments are holding their citizens in such poverty while they live in such splendor, and wealth, and why the people don’t rise up and change things?

    Is it really just American’s that have that spirit?

    The road leading up to the tree topped hill is lovely!

  2. I wanted to do the tour through the Hutong when we were there both times, but my husband didn’t want too. Boo! Maybe next time. I hope it is still there when we go with the girls.

  3. jesh stg says:

    it’s a very complicated question. For starters, when you look at the globe, where do people seem to fare well? The ones where Christianity had the upper hand and where the government held on to the democratic system. In non-democracies, people have no voice, and their fight is immediately squashed (or they are killed!) by the government or armed forces.

    Don’t know what you know about Europe, but especially in Western Europe there is less poverty (let me qualify:homelessness) than in the USA.

  4. Oh my. Interesting that the hotel didn’t have a “public” bathroom for you to use. A shock for sure to find yourself in a back alley to brush your teeth. We often don’t realize how fortunate we are until we see firsthand the harsh reality of others.

  5. jesh stg says:

    Fortunately hubby and son (who spoke a little Chinese) were with me! To be more precise it was a youth hostel, but the staff spoke perfect English, and the food was excellent (and a large breakfast buffet).
    I would say, the bathroom issue was more typical for that country. They do not count on emergencies:):)

  6. I suppose for some it may be embarrassing to see the poverty. The Chinese are actually really proud of the Hutongs. I guess the point in taking the girls would be for them to see how China was. It is changing so rapidly that I don’t want them to think that there was no reason why their parents could not keep them. When you look at cities at Beijing or Shanghai it is hard to understand why a parent would give up a child, but then you go to my daughters village and really the people are so poor. Like out of the movie Hunger Games! Sleep tight!

  7. Well the one child rule in China has played a HUGE part of that mind set. Girls aren’t farmers, and boys for the most are. Now China is suffering a monumental Girl shortage. They’re ordering sex dolls and sex slaves from other countries.
    Those slaves with no money for contraceptives will have babies! Those babies that aren’t aborted won’t be excepted by the Chinese or whatever country the Mother/sex slave the mother is from. What then?
    Where are the feminist on this issue? Silent as freaking CRICKETS! This is one of a host of reasons why I AM NOT IN THE FEMINIST CAMP!

    China Fucked up with the One Child Rule. They see that now, but what to do about now that there aren’t enough girl Chinese to keep the that line going? You’ll be extinct before you know it and it will be of your own making. How do you feel sorry for a government so short sighted?
    I don’t have much empathy. Truth.

  8. Sherry Felix says:

    There’s still slums in New York City. We lived in a tenement on east side many years ago and many of those places still exist. Poverty is everywhere..

  9. Dan Antion says:

    I have seen places like this in the US. There are still a large number of people who are not heard, or who are kept in a distorted view that the would-be next savior isn’t lying to them like all the previous ones have. The photo is striking. I’m not sure if China can buy it’s way out of the mess they created, but that might be their only chance.

  10. jesh stg says:

    Oh, I understand, especially in the big cities. We lived for 30+ years in several suburbs of Los Angeles, and have seen many homeless, but not on the backside of one of the main streets in the capital … and these people were not homeless, these were middle class people with a job (I have another photo with a lady coming out of one of the houses, with glasses on, and nice clothes and shoes as if she’s working in an office of store – something along those lines). These people living in the hutong would probably not call themselves poor, but I saw how they looked at us, like wealth was dripping off of us, even though we just had shorts and sandals on.
    I guess it’s where we come from ourselves, what we would consider poverty…
    Such serious talk in the weekend – have a happy one!

  11. jesh stg says:

    You should not feel sorry for such a short sighted government (you hit the nail on the head with that description!) – remember it’s still a communist mindset- invading every level of society, including family life to what they think is beneficial “to the common good.”
    On the other hand …America needs to be careful too with businesses who benefit their own pockets with killing babies, making use of the popular views.
    Have a lovely weekend, Friend:)

  12. Excellent photo response, Jesh, and I’m with you on the rest. 🙂


  13. Sherry Felix says:

    Things are indeed different there.

  14. It sounds like it was a wonderful adventure. So true that services can be quite different in other countries. We’ve traveled to small villages in Greece where amenities were very basic and we didn’t mind at all. 🙂

  15. I love checking out backstreets of old towns. You never what what you are going to see, or experience. I haven’t had an experience like this one though! Love the photo of it.

  16. Debbie Smyth says:

    And there aren’t many of the hutongs left now

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