China’s Rat Tribe

NPR has done a moving story on Beijing’s Rat Tribe: people living illegally in basements of buildings.

China Rat Tribe

In Beijing, even the tiniest apartment can cost a fortune — after all, with more than 21 million residents, space is limited and demand is high.

But it is possible to find more affordable housing. You’ll just have to join an estimated 1 million of the city’s residents and look underground.

Below the city’s bustling streets, bomb shelters and storage basements are turned into illegal — but affordable — apartments.

This is basically underground slums. These poignant words sum it up:

“They’re hoping that their next generation, their children, will be able to live above ground,” Kim says. “It’s this sense of longing and deferring a dream. And so it makes me wonder how long this dream can be deferred.”

This sounds like Neverwhere, does it not?

 

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