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A Chinese Man's Struggle (1)
I Didn't Want to Give Up

28 November 2008

The following is an English translation of the core text of a Chinese post currently appeared on China's online forum 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 2005.

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.

农笑非 (Peasantlaught)2008-10-31:

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.

My wife is a spoiled city girl and the only child of her parents who are both retired form state-run enterprises.

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 return.

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 profit margin.

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 of self-congratulation.

The taste of a cigarette that costs 8 yuans a pack is clearly much better than that costs only 2 yuans a pack.

The original text in Chinese can be viewed from

2, I Took up Challenge

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Next: A Chinese Man's Struggle (2)


Wrong Bus

A 34-year old jobless drunk man left an Internet bar and got on to a bus late one night. He staggered up the aisle and slumped down next to an elderly woman.

The woman looked the man sternly and said, "I've got news for you young man - you're going straight to hell!"

The drunk man jumped up and screamed, "I'm on the wrong bus! Driver, open the door, let me get off!"

一34岁的无业醉汉于深夜出了网吧后七扭八歪地上了公共汽车,一屁股坐到一老妇边上。 闻着醉汉的一身酒气,老妇忿忿地说:“不务正业的小伙子,你就等着下无间地狱吧。” 醉汉一听跳起来大叫:“这么说,俺上错车咧!司机,停车,让俺下去哈!”

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