I came across this man in one of Beijing’s, Hutongs (alleys).
He was hauling bricks of coal to sell to the residents of the traditional courtyards homes of these neighborhoods where families have lived for generations. Coal fired stoves provide heat for these residences and double for cooking.
As part of its attempt to deal with Beijing’s pollution in the run up to the Summer Olympics the government has been replacing coal stoves in Hutong communities with electric heaters. This photograph was taken more than two years ago. I wonder if this man is still in business.
Hutongs Beijing China