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A Chinese Man's Struggle (2)
I Took Up Challenge

1 December 2008

1, I Didn't Want to Give UP

农笑非 2 Nov 2008: 

When my brother learned about the 10,000 yuans contract, he was also overjoyed - he never saw such a large amount of money. That night, we cooked two hot and spicy dishes and bought a bottle of wine, toasting to our success and planning next moves. Our biggest dream is to get a mortgage on a house so our parents could come to live with us.

Unfortunately things didn't work out as we expected. My wife's relative informed me that he would only gave me 3000 yuans commission or else he would talk to the person who signed the contract with me directly. I had no choice but to accept his new term of settlement, provided he could pay me upfront in cash, which he agreed. When we arrived at the bank, he told me he only had 2500 yuans in his account. "No worries, just give me what you have," I grinned wryly, and replied.

Of 2500 yuans, I gave 1500 to my brother, and spent the rest to buy milk powder for my son and on bus fare when looking for new projects.

Quickly another month was gone, yet I wasn't able to secure a new contract. As my pocket became empty again, I grew increasingly anxious. One morning when I was on a bus I noticed on a hill a construction site with a couple of excavating machines working in the field but no cinder bogie in sight. I decided to try my luck and got off the bus at a nearby stop.

It took me almost an hour to climb to the site along a roughly constructed road and only to learn that the site manager would not turn up until the afternoon.

The late autumn sun lacked warmth and strength, and I sat on a stone watching the drivers working in their excavators, feeling weary and drained.

Hours later, a white Toyota appeared in the road, and when it arrived at the site, two men with briefcase strode out the vehicle and walked into the site office. I promptly jumped to my feet, followed them into the room and presented my business cards to each of them.

One man in a four-pocketed jacket scanned me with alert and then waved a hand to drive me away. "It's all arranged, please go, leave."

It wasn't something entirely unexpected. In fact, I frequently encountered such experience while looking for contract. Before leaving the office I asked habitually: Where is the landfill site? How much per truckload?

"180 yuans - yet to know which landfill to use," he replied off-handily.

I resigned to my fate at the first but quickly realised he lied to me. If he didn't even know the disposal destination, how on earth he could know the price. Clearly, the guy is not site manager but my competitor doing exactly what I was doing.

I decide to take up the challenge.

The original text in Chinese can be viewed from

3, I Gave Up

Prev: A Chinese Man's Struggle (1)
Next: Dalai Lama and 9/11 and Beyond


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Get Down to the Bottom of the Matter

Peter had been seeing a psychoanalyst for three years for treatment of the fear that he had monsters under his bed, but made little progress, so he stopped seeing the psychoanalyst.

A month later, the psychoanalyst met Peter on a but, and was surprised to find him looking well-rested, energetic, and cheerful. "Doc!" Peter said, "It's amazing! I'm cured!"

"That's great news!" the psychoanalyst says. "Who cured you?"

"A excavator driver at a construction site," Peter replied enthusiastically, "and he cured me with just one practical advice."

"What is that?" the psychoanalyst asks incredulously.

"He told me to cut the legs off of my bed."




“恭喜阿!” 医生说。“是谁这木大的本事把你看好啦?”


“他说了一句什么话?” 专家觉得不可思议。


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