When in Beijing it was suggested I visit the Hutongs, of which there are many. My guide book provided the starting point and direction however I was never going to follow the route provided to the letter. Sure, guide books help you find and understand areas you might not reach with your own research but if you want a unique experience it's always best to stray away from the set suggestions. Take a longer route or different route and you don't know what you might find.

When I was walking through this Hutong (a different route to the one suggested, of course) I spotted and young man and an older lady hitting a shuttlecock between each other - no net, no court just two racquets and an open space. I stood for a while just watching and before I knew it I was offered to play. So, I picked up the racquet and had a hit with two local Chinese using my basic Mandarin to communicate my enjoyment and gratitude. It was great fun!

Throughout my exploration of the Hutong there was one lady cycling around picking up all the rubbish laying about. Her sack got larger and larger the longer I was walking about so right before I left I got into a strategic position in order to photograph her. 

The rubbish sack is so much bigger than her!

Canon 400D, EFS 17 - 85mm f4 - 5.6; 64mm, f8, 1/30, ISO 100, -0.67ev