See the location on a satellite map (Google’s street map doesn’t register with the satellite view!)
On the edge of a hutong (this one still largely intact), I found this chair. It drew my attention by the peculiar sound it emitted – or rather, the sound emitted by the inhabitants of the little bamboo cages as I found out when taking a close look. Their ‘owner’, curiously, was nowhere to be seen (having a cup of tea at the little cafe nearby?) but it was obvious the little creatures were for sale, and kept as pets. Only later did I find hutong houses with a little cage above a door or a window, with one of them, singing and singing.
Their sound became to me “the sound of Beijing” – the Beijing of the intact hutong (somehow I cannot imagine this sound in modern high-rise flats), but I cannot believe all of that has gone now… I was intrigued enough by this sound that I made a short video to record and share it:
Originally, in 2006, I could find very little information on crickets as pets in China. I tried again now and found much more (possibly I’ve just become better at searching…), so here are some of the best references I found (the last link is a search where you may find even more, though not all is equally relevant or reliable):
Camera: Fuji Finepix F30