The following is an English
translation of the core text of a Chinese post currently
appeared on China's online forum tianya.cn. The author, a
man from poor rural area with college education, tells his
true story (as he so claims) of how he struggles with his
career and marriage in a big city:
农笑非 31 Oct 2008
I was 34-year old in 2005.
I didn't own
a house, so lived with my wife's parents. Each day,
I got up at 10 in the morning, gulped down a big bowl of
noodle (cooked by myself or prepared by my mother-in-law),
then left home to "work" and would not eat anything
until I returned home at seven for dinner.
My "job" is to play games online,
without pay of course. I could only afford to play cheap
games; when I didn't even have money to play cheap games,
I found a quite corner in the street and sat the whole day
watching the world.
My pocket money was partly from my wife and
partly from my little brother. My wife works at a state-run
enterprise with a monthly income of a thousand yuans or so;
and my brother has a computer repairing business - unregistered.
He spent 600 yuans a month to rent a room as his office/workshop.
When I got a few more bulks in my pocket, I
would play cards with other; and when I won, I would buy
some milk powder for my son who was basically looked after
by my in-laws.
This was my sickening life during 2002 and
Comments from viewers:
Indeed, it was so sickening!
My situation now is just like what you were in.
I used to live a life just like this.
I was born in 1971 and my parents are all peasants.
I did well in school and completed a three-year technical
college course, which makes me an urban white collar in the
eye of the villagers, and a country bumpkin in the eye of
the city folks. After a couple of year to juggle different
jobs, I saved enough money to start my own business, but
it only lasted two years. In 1998, I came to C City and after
another couple of years of hard work on low paid jobs, I
rose to a position as a branch general manager at a big company
with an annual salary of 80,000 yuans. It was by then I met
My wife is a spoiled city girl and the only
child of her parents who are both retired form state-run
农笑非 1 Nov 2008:
In August 2005, Super Girl (a TV program
similar to Australian or American Idol, but the participants
were all females) was in the midst of its hype, and I followed
the whole process at Internet bar on a daily basis, and consumed
every piece of news about those girls. When you don't have
much to do with your own life, you begin to be interested
in other people's lives.
The winner's fast rise to fame and fortune
made me pause to think: we may not that far away from success
after all; it may just take a few months.
So I decided to recollect myself and face up
to the challenge.
2005 was also a year when property
market was booming, and if you were in any business
that had anything to do with building
industry, you were able to make a handsome financial
By then a relative of my wife purchased a cinder
bogie and tried to get some contracts to clean the cement
draff and slurry draff on construction sites. He's not a
smart business man and couldn't get much work in his trade,
so I thought I might be able to earn my living as a middleman
between him and construction companies. I began to make phone
calls to property
developers, and soon I realised to my disillusionment
that a great number of property
development companies in China are not genuine business
entities but middlemen themselves. They either don't have
anyone to answer incoming calls, or their site cleaning jobs
have already been given to subcontractors. For a month, I
made no progress but cost my brother dearly on phone bills.
Eventually I persuaded my brother to lend me 200 yuans, with
which I spent 10 bulks to get my business card printed, and
took bus daily to visit construction fields. By the time
200 yuans were nearly gone, I was offered to remove cinders
from a school building site, with 200 yuans one truckload.
I then offered my wife's relative 190 yuans a truckload,
which would allow me to earn approximately 10,000 yuans on
To someone in the lowest point of his life, "10,000
yuans" is a mount that he wouldn't even dare to dream
of. After signed the contract, I spent 8 yuans to buy myself
a pack of Lucky Dragon Phoenix cigarettes as an expression
The taste of a cigarette that costs 8 yuans
a pack is clearly much better than that costs only 2 yuans
The original text in Chinese can be viewed from tianya.cn/publicforum/content/free/1/1452303.shtml
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