Daily Life of Boot Wearin' Dirt Kickers in China

A Midwestern American family figures out how to live, love and laugh in China

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June 13, 2009 Last Day of School – Summer Vacation

Posted by taylorsinchina on June 29, 2009

The boys were released today at 11:45 a.m. for summer vacation. Toby had a final play date with Carlos (who is moving back to Panama in July) so it was just Garrett and myself for lunch. We had lunch and then stopped by the local flower market for a couple of items.

After running our errands, we asked Mr. Sun if he would want us to go to his Hutong courtyard home and take some photos for him. He is under quite a bit of duress due to the fact that the new subway is coming through his Hutong community. Because of that, his home (and everyone elses) is being leveled and everyone displaced. It took him eight years to save up enough money to totally renovate his courtyard home wich was newly finished in January 2008. Last summer, he landscaped with rose bushes, trees and rocks (for feng shue). Now, he will lose his home, his investment and hard work…very sad because he was so proud of it and loved living there next to all of his friends and family members.

When we pulled up, I didn’t even recognize the Hutong as whole buildings had been torn down and there was debris everywhere.


We had to scramble over large piles of bricks just to get to his front gate. He is the final resident in his Hutong so it is a quiet (except for the demolition work) place with just Mr. Sun coming and going each day. Can you imagine being expected to walk/crawl your way through this mess every day just to get to your front door or out onto the street with your bicycle?


You can see Mr. Sun’s front doors up ahead on the right. The brick wall on the left is all that is left standing of that building…the roof and other sides have all been taken down. His older brother’s home was just ahead on the left. We peeked in a crack where the bricks had fallen and was able to see what was left, which was only one wall (partially collapsed), a window frame and the concrete floor.


Mr. Sun and Garrett standing at the front doors inside his courtyard.

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This set of rooms faces the above photos on the south side of his courtyard. They are what I would term as guest rooms or for other family members.
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Garrett and Mr. Sun in his rose garden.

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These are photos of the north side of the courtyard where it looks like Mr. Sun does most of his living. The room to the left is a kind of living room with then another room right next to it that is his bed room, followed by his kitchen.
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One of the rose bushes from his garden…


On our way out, I couldn’t help but take some photos that seemed strange to Mr. Sun…the left over’s from a once tight-knit community that had been “scattered to the wind” by a new subway project.

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Garrett thoroughly enjoyed the visit and climbing over all of the rubble…but he now has a better understanding about Mr. Sun losing his home.

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