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A Chinese Man's Struggle (3)
I gave up

14 December 2008

1, I Didn't Want to Give UP
2, I Took up Challenge

笑非 3 Nov 2008:

Just when I poised outside the office considering my next movement, I saw a four-wheel drive stopped nearby. A mid-aged man with a big beer belly got off the vehicle and straight entered the office block. My intuition told me that this was the real site manager, so I followed him into the room without hesitation.

The men sat at the desk smiled broadly when they saw the beer belly and stood up to hand out their business card. "This is Team Head Chen I mentioned to you," said the man in a four-pocketed jacket, pointing at his companion.

The beer belly also smiled and invited all of us to take sate.

"No no, he's not with us," The four-pocketed jacket scowled at me.

"I'm also doing waste disposal business," I self-introduced to the beer belly, grinning back.

"Well," the beer belly smiled again, "I'll talk to you late, please wait outside."

No need to argue. I left room, but I didn't wander away, just stationed near the door smoking.

The area was yet to be fully developed, and thus was quiet, saving the noise generated from leveling machine. It wasn't difficult for me to eavesdrop conversation in the room which made me feel a chill through my bones.

From their dialogue I figured out that the Chen was not a private businessman, but a public servant. In fact, he was a head of Law Enforcement Corp for Urban Development, which means he was the man with right to fine construction companies deemed by him as having breached laws or regulations, for instance to have a few pieces of rubbish accidentally fallen off truck during transportation to the disposal site.

For a man in his position to take this contract was an act of breaching laws and regulations in itself. I heard rumours about this before, and it appeared there was some truth in the gossip. Would the site manager dare to refuse the request by Chen, a head of Law Enforcement authority, for the contract? I didn't think so.

As my competitor had such a formidable background, I knew there was absolutely no chance for me here. Slowly I dragged my feet walking down the hill along the rough road.

The time was late afternoon, and I felt worn out. As soon as I took a break by resting on a stone at the road-site to collect my thought, my cell phone rang. It was from my mother. I hang up on her and called back immediately.

She asked me how my business went and I told her everything was fine. However, I sensed a hesitation in her voice and I guessed she must have encountered some great financial difficulties. I have three old sisters and a young brother, and my parents were heavily penalized for giving birth to more than one son. My mother, like most of Chinese peasants, still believes it would compromise her integrity to ask her daughters for financial help, as it would be like to steal money from their in-laws. As the eldest son, I'm obliged to support my parents financially, but my mother never asked me to do so, and this was the first time.

"I'll send you a thousand yuans tomorrow," I told her.

My mother was so pleased. "No need for that much, 500 yuans will be enough," urged she.

I immediately called my brother, but he said he only got 300 yuans in his account. His computer repairing business was bad, and his balance sheet was in red this month.

My mother had always been tremendously proud of me: I went to college, I married a city girl, I became a branch manager, and I started my own business with my brother. For this, she received a great respect from fellow villagers. She did not know I in fact lived a life that was so deprived and depressed. I would love to tell her the truth, yet I couldn't - it would break my heart to see her disappointed.

That day I sat on the stone by the rough road, until the night fell.

Comments from viewers:


Sorry for asking but I really want to know: why didn't you choose to kill yourself?

Don't take offence; in fact I do admire your courage to live.

不是侮辱你的意思, 很佩服你能活下去的动力.


Why should I die?

Since I failed my life, I dared not to think of death.



Your story gives me courage to live.


You remind me my life during that period, which was very similar to yours. The only difference is while you went to surf at internet cafe every day, I took daily trip to read for free in bookstores, as I did not even have money to go online. I became known to those working in the bookstores and they often examined me with a strange look on their face.

Thanks heavens, my business eventually took off and now I've even bought a house. But I would not forget my life during that difficult time.

Those who are still struggling like I once was, please do not lose your heart. Keep trying and you may eventually succeed.


农笑非, you are a real bloke! You've touched my heart!!!!

The original text in Chinese can be viewed from

4, I Was Left On My Own

Prev: When Dalai Meets Sarkozy
Next: Chinese Democracy and the West


A Chinese Man's Freeride to Work

To protest high fuel price, a young man in Chinese capital Beijing wears a mask while riding a donkey to work. And he's also outlined advantages of using this alternative transportation as follows:

First of all, there is no need to buy petrol, naturally;

Secondly, it's environmentally friendly, very friendly;

Thirdly, a donkey will give birth to another donkey and even more donkeys (there is no one-donkey policy in China, which is very encouraging); but a car will never give birth to another car. Think about it!

Finally, if your balance sheet is in red and you are starving, you can eat your donkey to survive. You can't eat your car, can you?

(Source of info and oritginal photo:网易)

How to Get A Free Drink

A guy walked into a teahouse and asked the waiter: "How much for a pot of jasmine tea?"

"10 yens a pot," the waiter replied.

"How much is a refill?"


"Then I'll take a refill," said the guy


茶房回: "10元一壶。"

该男再问: "喝光了再冲水多少钱?"

茶房再回: "再冲不用钱。"


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