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How Some Poor Chinese in Sichuan
Spent Their New Year's Eve

3 January 2010
 

Xia Yuan, a 19-year old migrant labour from Jiangsu, is working at an interior deco. company. His normal working day starts from evening throughout the night, so did on the New Year’s Eve. Each night, he needs to replace 40 sheets of advertising posts, for that he’s able to earn 1,000 yuans a month, yet which wasn't enough for him to keep his girlfriend of two years. Thus he didn't mind to work through the New Year, since he was alone in a city far, far away from his home and his ex-girlfriend, anyway. “I’m still young, right now I need to concentrate on saving money; when time comes, love will arrive,” said he, confidently and philosophically.

Wang Biqiong and her husband run a stall selling Chinese style fast food: the meat and veges cooked on spot in a pot with gravy and soy sauce. They also migrated there a couple of years ago from another part of China and also work at night, so did on the New Year's Eve. But this isn't the hardest part in her life. What trouble her most are two things: their son is eighteen now and shall go to college soon, so she needs to save enough tuition fees for his further education; then it is urban management officers who keep frustrating her attempt to save the tuition fees.

In the recent decades, the town planners from the West are somehow running wild in China, allowing to dictate how Chinese people should live their lives. The organic urban settings with richly imbedded dimensions of culture and fengshui have been replaced by straight lines and ridged blocks according to those Westerners’ crude understandings of functions which are not based on Chinese culture, convention and reality (sometimes it does make one wonder if the folks in the West have been compromised by aliens from a planet ruled by robots).

Back to our gravy food sellers, Wang and her husband. Although they are willing to pay for the stall fee and trade on any allocated spot, no one would accept their payment and no spot would be available for vendors, since the robotic order of the modern townscape cannot be messed. So they had to keep vigilant eye on the officers even on the New Year’s night. However, the parents of a college student-to-be did not lose their heart. “If I can sell 500 strings every night, I’ll be able to save first year tuition fee for my son. I think we’ll be okay, and we’ll be fine,” said she, also confidently and philosophically.

(Source: xinhuanet.com)

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