Be he a king or a peasant, he is happiest who finds peace at home.
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Four walls, a floor and a roof. There's really not so much to a house. Yours is probably made of brick and wood, separated from your neighbors by a good ten feet or so (more or less). You might have a back yard and/or a front yard, with lots of green grass and flowers. Maybe a garage or a carport. Ranch style, split level or multiple floors. Possibly an apartment or even a trailer. Doesn't really matter what it looks like, does it? It's what is on the inside that counts.

Old Style Houses

Now just close your eyes and imagine that you are a farmer or laborer. All you know is hard work. At the end of the day you come home to a mud-brick home with a hard packed soil floor. There's room enough for a bed and a few chairs. A coal-burning, metal furnace sits in the corner, your only source of heat. You do all your washing and toileting down the road at the public fountain and toilet. You walk to a communal canteen for your meals. On the wall you have a photograph of the great leader Mao or maybe the progressive Deng Xiao Ping.

Newer Style Houses

More New Style Houses

Thirty years from now you won't recognize your country. Your village and humble home will have been demolished long ago. You will live in a luxurious three bedroom apartment. It will have indoor plumbing! Running water! There might even be heat! The floors and walls are concrete, so easy to keep clean! Life is really improving. What's next?

Modern New Houses

That is Linyi's housing situation in a nutshell. The old timers here sure have seen major changes. Come back on Saturday for a post about the apartment complex where I live. I will show you how a typical middle-class Linyi family lives!

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