About three months ago we finally managed to escape from Beijing’s suburban high-rise commuterland and found a new house in one of my favourite parts of town, Nanluoguxiang. This is what it looks like, except it’s not really so quiet.
You can see more pictures (not by me!) here.
I love it, of course, but there are some problems, as ever. The house we have is really only one large room – the bathroom and kitchen being shared by our landlady, an old lady we have to call “grandma”. She’s nice most of the time, but seems determined to charge us money at any possible opportunity, no matter how ludicrous. Many other houses don’t have a toilet of their own and have to share the ones in the street, but these are about the cleanest public toilets you’ll find anywhere in China, so it’s not so bad. We’re looking for another place in the same area right now.
Today brought some bad news, though. The neighbouring area of Gulou is apparently about to be demolished to make way for yet another modern “development”. Nanluoguxiang is probably safe, but for how long? Gulou has more historical importance, and if they can knock that down then they can knock just about anything down.