At a home in PingYao coal briquettes are delivered for the winter.
Each cylindrical shaped briquette of coal weighs 1 kilo. The delivery of 800 briquettes is enough for heating and cooking during the winter in this household. They need up to 8 briquettes a day in winter. In the summer they use around 3 briquettes for cooking.
The price of one briquette is 0.5 RMB (5 mao). So, the costs for heating and cooking in the winter is 400 RMB.
The house has 2 rooms and a kitchen outside. One room has a stove. In the winter the stove from the outside kitchen is moved inside for heating and cooking in the second room.
According to the resident of the house (who asked not to mention her name in the blog) the heating in the winter is quite comfortable. Then she talks a bit about her life. She was born in Henan and moved to PingYao when her husband got a job in this town. Now her husband works somewhere else, but she has to stay because her children are still studying in PingYao.
Mrs. Huang is helping out in the print shop of her younger brother. The shop opened 18 years ago delivering photo copy services. These days services include printing and photo editing as well.
According to Mrs. Huang it is a good business. The 3,000 RMB per month income from the shop is relatively high in PingYao.
There are around 20 competing print stores in the town. Their main business is the scanning, printing or copying of official documents.
Occasionally foreign tourists come in the shop. Maybe once a month. They usually need a copy of their passport.
The photo on the wall with the man in military uniform is of her brother. It was taken in 1983.
I’ve been traveling a lot lately, not being able to edit photos. New stories will be published soon. For today: a big smile.
If you are interested in the circle shaped stains on the forehead, read this article about “cupping”.
Several posts have been written in this blog about hutongs or nong tangs and we will continue to do so in different contexts. While the previous posts where all written within the context of China’s changing social environment with the hutong symbolizing the (disappearing) tradional way of life in China, today it is just about the romantic feelings of nostalgia that capture so many visitors to hutong areas.
On the left a resident is spraying the entrance to a hutong courtyard after a sandstorm in Beijing. On the right a view into the entrance of a courtyard in the old town of PingYao in Shanxi province.