Migrant Worker Waits In Line for 6 Days for Train Tickets Home

A Chinese migrant worker falling asleep standing up waiting in line to buy train tickets home to celebrate Chinese New Year's.

From NetEase:

“Kangzhou Migrant Worker Still Without Train Tickets After Lining Up for 6 Days and 6 Nights

January 9th, a reporter in Kangzhou, Zhejiang Province was taking photographs at the train station’s temporary booking office when they bumped into Li Zhuqing, a migrant worker from Yongzhou, Hunan Province. Li asked the reporter for help, “Reporter friend, I’ve been waiting in line for 5 days and 5 nights and still haven’t gotten my tickets. Can you help me?”

[Above] Photo is of 9am in the morning of January 10th, in Kangzhou, where Li Zhuqing is at the front of the ticket line. As he stood there, he fell asleep.

Li Zhuqing is 48 years old this year. He is responsible for buying train tickets for all 5 members of his family so they can return home to celebrate Chinese New Year. Li buys tickets for his family this time every year and it is always difficult; but this year is even worse. “I can’t use the Internet, and none of my calls will go through. I have no choice but to buy my tickets at the booking office.”

Li Zhuqing told the reporter his parents called him and asked when he would be coming home. He explained to them about how long he has been sleeping in the booking office waiting for his tickets. His 80-year-old mother then immediately burst into tears. His parents long for their son to come home to celebrate Chinese New Year together. In previous years, no matter how hard, Li Zhuqing and his family has always been able get back to his hometown a couple days before the holiday, but this year is uncertain.

Li Zhuqing has waited in the line at the booking office for 6 days and 6 nights, hoping to get a ticket on the 17th, 18th, or 19th to Yongzhou, Changsha, Guilin, or Nanning but to no avail. “I’m honestly just too tired, I can’t even wake up in the afternoon. My work friends have to pull me off the ground to get me up.”

A Chinese migrant worker arriving at a temporary ticketing office to wait in line overnight to buy train tickets home to celebrate Chinese New Year's.

Evening 10pm January 9th, Li Zhuqing at the booking office, beginning his overnight wait in line.

A Chinese migrant worker sitting on the ground in line overnight at a train ticketing office to buy tickets home for the Spring Festival holiday.

Early morning 4am January 10th, Li Zhuqing sitting down eating breakfast.

A Chinese migrant worker asleep on the ground waiting in line overnight to buy train tickets home for the holidays.

Early morning 3am, Li Zhuqing sitting on the ground asleep.

Chinese people waiting in line at a train ticketing office to buy tickets home for Chinese New Year.

Early morning 4am, Li Zhuqing sitting resting on the ground within the booking office railings.

Li Zhuqing, a Chinese migrant worker in Kangzhou, Zhejiang province trying to buy train tickets home for the Chinese New Year holiday.

Morning 10am, on the sixth day of waiting in line and still haven’t been able to buy tickets, helplessness fills Li Zhuqing’s eyes.

Li Zhuqing, a Chinese migrant worker who has waited 6 days and 6 nights to buy train tickets home for the holidays, yawns in line.

Morning 9am, Li Zhuqing at the front of the line, but looking especially tired.

A Chinese migrant worker in front of a train ticketing window to purchase tickets home for the Spring Festival holiday.

Morning 10am, Li Zhuqing in front of the ticketing window, beginning to book tickets.

A computer screen showing that all train tickets to Yongzhu, Hunan province are sold out.

Morning 10am, the computer shows that tickets to Yongzhou, Hunan Province are all sold out.

Li Zhuqing, a Chinese migrant worker, at a train ticketing office in Zhejiang province trying to buy a ticket home for the holidays.

Once again unable to get tickets, Li Zhuqing stands bewildered in the ticketing office, at a loss for what to do.

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  • The Dude

    This is is bad taste… but he really needed a sofa.

    • Young Man

      If it’s on bad taste then you shouldn’t have posted it.

      It makes you a bad… taster…

      …yeah, that doesn’t work. Anyway, this ‘sofa’ shit is still old.

    • seli

      hahahahahaaaaa this sofa comment is the best thing i’ve ever read, ever

  • Tom Swift

    If he’s waiting for all that time, how can they be sold out? Probably some corrupt bastard sold them all to scalpers. His bosses were undoubtably all taking their cut as well.

    China. 6000 years of wonderful people and shitty government.

    • The Dude

      They are also sold online, and on a telephone call line, hence the sell-out. You could wait all day but it’s pointless (as he did). But ya, scalpers entirely possible.

      Many Chinese simply like to show up and do what they’ve got to do. They often think they can get more chance of getting what they want if they do things face-to-face.

      I always used to wonder myself why they didn’t just buy tickets two weeks before to avoid all this, until I found out that the tickets are released only 3 days before.

      Actually, I may have my release days all wrong, I believe it might be 5/6 days before your travel date in the non-festival times.

      I can’t remember the exact amount of days. Maybe someone else can weigh in on that.

      • coala banana

        i think its 9/10 days, thats what i hear from my staff……fuck, in europe i can buy tickets 1 year in advance if i like. Just last week i bought a plane return ticket for december 2012 over the internet, took me 5 minutes and a credit card. I think in china they don’t do that, cause some bastards would buy all tickets in advance and later sell them to even higher prices. But why they don’t combine the ticket sale with ID card or passport numbers to avoid scalping ?

        • spongyfart

          it wouldn’t change a thing, a few thousand ID numbers can easily be arranged. the black market prevails.

        • The Dude

          Actually they do require the ID card now. If a non-Chinese now buys a ticket we now need our passport too. Not sure it prevents scalping or even if that’s its purpose.

          I think it’s just ‘police state’ nonsense.

          • White Phosphorus

            If it is required, then how come the story says that the migrant worker went alone to the ticketing booths to buy for his family of 5?

          • The Dude

            @white phosporus

            I said you have to show your ID card. I didn’t say you can buy only one ticket.

            As I said above: ‘not sure it prevents scalping’.

            I probably should have said it doesn’t prevent it. This is also why I called it ‘police state nonsense’.

          • whichone

            they could just check ID when a person boards the train, doesn’t matter how many tickets a person buys, as long as name is locked in at time of purchase, just like airplane tickets.

          • Young Man

            I went to Jinan recently on work- there had been a change of personel and one of us had a ticket in another person’s name. The paper tickets for trains now have all of our passport numbers on the bottom and it took a LOT or arguing for them to let him on the train.

            So the checks are there- if your ID/passport doesn’t match them you don’t get on. I guess someone at the Railway ministry makes money from this cos I think they just do this bullshit around people they KNOW are legit anf let the scalped tickets go through.

            I’ve lived here too long and maybe I’m cynical.

        • whwf

          I believe it’s 10 days for the “fast” trains, but 3 days for the regular slow trains. But it appears to vary a lot from a train to another. After tickets are “released”, you can buy them on the internet, on the phone or by queuing for hours at the ticket offices.

        • joemomma

          because that is even more of a pain in the ass where everything is always made more complicated. Me and two friends last fall were trying to buy tickets on the same speed train (you need to buy them in person with id) and we couldnt do it because we are all in different parts of the city and couldnt meet up.

        • Jack

          ‘cos bro its not Europe…..You have no idea…how corrupt Asia is…They are not stupid far from it…They very well know, they can combine ID cards with tickets to avoid scalping…but why would they ruin their perfectly run side business..

          The people in higher government gets a cut, or they employee thugs to run the business…The corruption goes very higher up and they all know it…and that is why ..when you land in China…you see Porsche with Poverty and you wonder..where the money have come from and yet why most people are poor…

          If 10000 people like you take birth in China…it will be like Europe

          • coala banana

            exactly my thoughts, they very well know what they are doing. The principe is the same like with cure, why offer cure when more money can be made with medication, just keep people alive, or the system corrupt. I think corruption is a never ending story in china. We got it in western countries too, but I would claim that we do it with a bit more style and not in such an obvious blunt way like the chinese are doing it. They do it all the way down, even squeezing money out of the poorest bastards.

          • http://thecapitalinthenorth.blogspot.com jixiang

            Yes, but to be fair European countries don’t have to cope with such a massive amount of people all trying to travel in one go. The spring festival is the biggest human migration in the world.

            And don’t get me wrong, last year I went and waited in line (in the open on a freezing cold day) on the first day the tickets were on sale, and after waiting two hours I couldn’t buy any, so I have personal experience of how bad it is.

          • Kerry

            Yep, most tickets were probably sold out before they even went “on sale”. My relatives get tickets from our neighbour who’s a receptionist (not even in management) at the station. It’s impossible to get tickets unless you have connections, it’s really unfair!!

  • thunderkat211

    take an airplane? I mean, it is more expensive but it beats waiting for five days.

    • The Dude

      There’s no room on the plane for their cow.

      Don’t you know anything.

    • flynn

      ……….. not even going to elaborate…

    • D

      You remind me of Marie Antoniette. If you don’t get the reference, go look it up. get educated before making shallow comments.

      • White Phosphorus

        LOL. I flew to another province during CNY in 2011 (GD to HN), and yes it was easy to buy a ticket online or by telephone, but then again, it cost about 2000rmb, so you must think that this migrant worker has 10k rmb lying around for plane tickets for his family of 5? Heh.

  • http://www.accessfbchina.com/ Rod

    It’s a miserable situation every year. And every year people complain about the same things. I don’t see why they don’t just have MOAR TRAINS during the Chinese new year. People have been going home during the Chinese New Year for thousands of years, and they still haven’t figured out how to get everyone home on time? Sounds like a government conspiracy to me.

    Also, I don’t get how he waited for six days. Doesn’t that mean there are other people waiting for six days as well?

    My first year in China I had no idea about the train situation during the New Year and ended up with a standing ticket from Chengdu to Huizhou, which is something like 12 hours. It was the most miserable trip of my life.

    • whichone

      I don’t think it’s as simple as running more trains. The daily capacity of Chinese railways are in the millions, people who wish to get home number in the hundreds of millions. In the forty days surrounding vacation, 3 billion man-trips are made, mostly one way from city to country prior to new year, and reverse after. Although the railway capacities are expanding everyyear, people and economic opportunities are also growing at exponential rates.

      Chinese new years as a tradition has been around for a long time but presumably prior to economic boom 70s, people didn’t travel far for work, most just worked on the farms.

      Corruption, incompentency, scalpers, hukou system, Chinese tradition, and asymmetric economic opportunities all join together in a spectacular clusterfuck on new years every year, known as CHUNYUN.

  • eattot

    so sad!
    chinese farmers, they are the poorest group in china, even they only get so little, they never ask why.
    also the infomation gap between city and village is so big, famrers they do not know internet, they do not try stocks, they just work so hard collect a little money…so sad.
    contryside needs more attention!

    • Foreign Devil

      This must be the kindhearted eatot. The other one with the mask always puts down “waidiren“.

      • eattot

        not true, i am waidiren in shanghai.
        i guess i only out down people i disagree…

        • mr. weiner

          I like your new look. the old photo always reminded me of SARS!

      • lonetrey

        Ahahaha, I was also slightly surprised to see a nice comment from eattot. Also, I am in agreement with her comment.

        Also, love the new photo. The old photo did indeed remind me of SARS as well (as Mr. Weiner said). Though it’s not uncommon for people to wear those masks just for their own health, I don’t really see them much around here in Pennsylvania. Amish farmers do not really have to deal with smog nor air pollutants afterall.

      • Judge Jehovah


  • Rick in China

    Interesting juxstaposition with the angry Porsche buyer in the story before this..

    • Josh

      Interesting observation :)

  • diverdude

    The system is broken.

    (yes, I am aware I have particularly keen insight into the situation. No applause necessary, just throw money)

  • UkExPaT

    In the story: “I can’t use the Internet, and none of my calls will go through. I have no choice but to buy my tickets at the booking office.”

    This poor guy did try the alternative modern method which was to buy tickets on the phone, but the system is so inadequate that anyone would have to dial hundreds of time to get through.

    Don’t blame me for China bashing, but those of you who have experienced life in China even just a little will know, systems here are put in place just for show but never put through rigorous testing (just think of the safety system on the Chinese high-speed rail).

    Just want to say good luck to those stranded folks!

    • coala banana

      imagine that he finally gets his tickets and soon after someone steals them :-(

      • UkExPaT

        What you said could well be tomorrow’s story.

        • Duce

          Yeah, wouldn’t that be funny…

          • coala banana

            every men is a potential killer under the “right” circumstances ! people have killed each other for much less then for a bunch of train tickets. His tickets are worth gold for someone else in the coming week ! He better watch his back after he buys them, some other fool who is waiting there for more then a week and can’t get his, might just take his chance…..

          • Josh

            Have to agree there. I heard some teenager tried to kill some guy for for a new game. Sometimes you just gotta feel that its a weird world we live in…

      • jin

        arent you a idiot?
        you need ID or passport to buy train ticket.
        it will be registered, meaning that IF his ticket get stolen and he report it, they will catch the thief pretty easy. (when he use the ticket)

      • jin

        that would be stupid, to steal a ticket that is registered.
        you need ID or passport to buy a ticket, so if the thief steal it.
        they can catch the thief pretty easy, when the thief use the ticket, he will be caught.

      • mr. weiner

        They could get Jackie Chan to star as him in the movie. He does bear a passing resemblance.

  • http://www.google.de ponti

    don`t get it. waiting in line for 6 days / 6 nights, why not leaving right now? he obviously doesn`t work now. tickets for departures before 18th january hard to get too?

    • Stu

      There’s a reference to his workmates physically having to pull him up in the afternoon, so I guess he’s actually queueing overnight and going to work again each morning. Situation sucks, obviously.

      • coala banana

        well, the real sad thing is that his situation will not improve in the future, THAT sucks ! I don’t know, but i have the impressional that most people here just can’t and don’t know how to develop further. Most are just short term thinker, even the rich ones. Not many chinese i met are capable of long term thinking and planing, thats sad and that is what holds most of them back. The majority of westerners are different when confronted with a problem where its obvious that the same problem will show up in future years, they develop a strategy or solution in advance and not wait until they are again punched in the nuts for the same reason, especially when i know that i can’t count in my own government and my own country people to improve my situation and help me solve my problems, then its time to grow some balls and improvise.

        Apart from that he better bring some money and presents home, otherwise his own family will give him hell. Its really a hard life some of this folks have to go through. Life is not worth living for everyone, its sad when life becomes a burden. To be poor sucks !

    • whichone

      Number of tickets sold daily are limited, so when he gets to the window, they are sold out. He goes to work, and waits in line the next day.

  • Xiongmao

    Poor guy but at least there are a lot fewer of them this year. Think back on the horror stories and incredible pictures from just 5 years ago and you’ll know.

  • E Puff

    So unjust… I hope he is able to get home to his mother. Is this trip not drive-able?

    • Stu

      The long-distance buses generally cost a lot more, are slower, even less comfortable, and (in the popular mind at least) distinctly prone to fatal crashes…

    • coala banana

      why you people don’t think a bit more rational and look at things at different angles BEFORE you get emotional ?

      Do we know ANYTHING about his or his mothers true intentions ? The only thing we know is that he can’t get a ticket and his family is waiting for him at home to “celebrate the new year”. So far so good !

      But what we know about his families true feelings and intentions. I think he and all of us would find out if we could witness what would happen when he make it home BUT without any money ! Would they still welcome him with an open heart and tears ? Could be, its just not likely in my opinion.

      I think to be poor is the biggest of all deceases, fuck, even poor people don’t like other poor people. Didn’t we all like when a friend or brother comes to visit us, didn’t we all know the joy of come together ? But didn’t we all also know how nice it is when the visit goes again ? Yes we do ! For people with less money its the moment they realize that you eat too much and you will cost them even more as more time pass by with you just hanging around ? But come with money and presents, and they are all eager to see you ASAP and will welcome you like the lost son/brother. Depending on how much money you gave them and the value of the presents you in fact buy yourself more or less time to spend with them. Trust me they will soon let him feel that he is not welcome any longer when he comes with empty hands.

      You call it unjust cause he can not make it home ? Did you see his home ? Do you know what is waiting for him there after the food is eaten ? You just assume that he is loved and you assume that he loves to go home, we don’t know anything about anyones intentions, true feelings, problems and what kind of person they truly are.

      I ? ….am not impressed !

      • E Puff

        heavens, you are way too fastidious my friend. What kind of mother would not welcome her own child? That’s insane. Being poor does not deprive a person of having a heart and compassion for the children they bear, unless there is a cultural difference between my american sensibilities and that of a person living in china? What kind of intention could a mother have? How do you know if this man is without some money? And why would an 80 year old woman who is possibly poor, not cry if her son is not coming home? Wouldn’t that deprive her even more?

        I agree that much of the strife and crime comes from poor communities in this world we that we share. But I have also found that poor people, even with their meager things are the most open hearted and most willing to share than someone who has more. After all, you can’t be rich without being stingy. Part of that is hoarding money to yourself. Poor people work the hardest and get the least in return.

        I’m not sure what kind of programs are there for the elderly or if they are to fend for themselves. So, if her intent is that her son may provide something for her, at eighty years old, she deserves more compassion if that is her intent.

        • Li Qin Kê

          What kind of horrible person are you. Suggesting that my son Li Zhuqing come home empty handed. I cried when I read your post almost as much as when that lazy loafer tried to escape his filial obligations. You are a piece of human garbage.

        • coala banana

          so from your understanding, all mothers love and welcome their children, and to think differently is insane ? are you some sort of Siddharta who was a kings son and isolated from the outside world throughout his youth, so he never saw and witnessed pain and suffering, hate and anger ? from your posts it looks like this.

          you could also ask, which a brother would cheat or kill his own brother, or why a father would rape his own daughter, and for you its probably unthinkable that catholic priest could be child molesters. Aren’t this much worse things, then a poor sucker which is of course loved, but love has also its limits. his main purpose is to earn money and to feed his family, let him come back empty hands and you would witness that even love has its limits. This people need to fight for survival and set their priorities a bit different then you do. They don’t have the luxury to be just caring and loving, when their environment sets other rules, which are:

          money number 1 !!!!

          Don’t be such a hypocrite and see things how they really are and not how you would like them to be, that my friend wouldn’t be just insane, it would be dumb !

          • E Puff

            I know the concept of familial “love” may seem like a lofty idea to you for people in these situations, but to say that a person must survive on the rawest level without it is to reduce them to the level of an animal. Otherwise, without some sort of familial love, why would the man feel obligated to go home and take care of them when he could keep the money for himself? There is obviously a bit of emotional attachment on all sides. You do them a disservice to deny them that bit of humanity. I disagree with you.

          • coala banana

            “reduce them to the level of an animal ???”

            Hello ???

            maybe you missed it, but we ARE animals, evolved yes, but still animals. In fact, (most) animals are better then the human animal by far (mosquitos excluded from that). In fact your comment could be considered an insult to animals. In my opinion everything which breathes and feel pain when you treat it bad, has the same rights as i do, and I have no right to put myself above any other species.

            Yes, what you see in the pics (even he can’t be considered the poorest of the poor) is nothing else then a small part of human struggle and survival. Most likely he feels obligated, cause chinese are very clever when it comes to indoctrinate guilt onto their children. Chinese don’t raise their kids so they can become independent ASAP, no they raise them in the way to make them dependent, cause they are their secret retirement fond. They hold them as long as they can under their roof, are pissed when its a girl, and happy as hell when they have a boy, for obvious reasons. With a boy they have better chances for survival, cause a girl will just cost them money. They spoil their children, and not JUST cause of love !

            This guy is an immigrant worker, means his families land and house or whatever they have is there and not here. So, love is ok, BUT you better come home and send shit home , otherwise i will sell our farm land and don’t leave you anything….how about that ? For me this sounds like a damn good reason for a poor sucker to come home. Tears ? People cry for all kind of reasons….Stalin, Kim, and many other dictators without scruples died, and you could see millions of people crying the shit out of their hearts. While we can question most of this peoples true intentions, I am sure that, even its just a small percentage’, truly felt something like a loss and pain, while the vast majority probably cried out of fear or happiness.

            Its not about denying someone humanity, I have no stake in his lives outcome. By questioning people true intentions you start to see them as what they are, just humans, still part of the animal kingdom, still more monkey then any over monkey, barely out of the jungle and in some cases still operating with a reptilian brain. To take every action of them as granted and emotional, we would just lie to ourselves, and thats NOT my intention !

          • mankouzanghua

            so what you’re saying is… if you learned that my brother invited me over, you would think it just as likely that he is trying to cheat and kill me as that he just wants to see me? or, it would be denying our place in the animal kingdom to be satisfied, until learning otherwise, that he simply wanted to get together?

            i think you’re spending a bit too much time in your cave fucking those beauties with reasonable tits and asses. you should talk to them more about their spring festivals with their families

          • coala banana

            “so what you’re saying is… if you learned that my brother invited me over, you would think it just as likely that he is trying to cheat and kill me as that he just wants to see me?”

            no, knowing that your brother invited you, I would think that your brother invited you.

            Everything depends on the circumstances which make it more or less likely that things are done with certain intentions and achieving certain goals. Wherever i found humans I found the will to power, is the name of the game. When your brother would be broke and you good standing or the other way around then we could talk about possible good or bad intentions. But my experience in china over more then 6 years and the observations, incl. many tragedies i witnessed, speak different stories. I have around 500 people i must take care of. And even they earn good money, compared what other companies pay them and they can work in a nice and good managed environment and i built a canteen for them and hired 3 professional cooks, so they can eat for free and don’t have to poison themselves with the cheap street food they eat before, they still have all sorts of private problems. Sometimes i help when i can or when i think that the person is worth it and sometimes not. I think this is what most foreign employers probably more or less experience. You just can’t prevent not to get involved in their private issues.

            Now when i look at this migrant worker, who is on an even lower social level, then i am quite sure that his problems are even worse then the ones from my staff. And let me tell you, they really come up with some fucked up things and issues.

            You talk about an invitation from your brother ? What that has to do with poor peoples struggle for life and survival ? Get broke, loose all you got, depend on others people mercy, then we can talk, and then we would see how many times your brother would invite you. If he is a good guy, he would invite you cause he feel pity for you and your situation, maybe even help you out with some money and food, after some time pass and you are still the same poor sucker, he would try to avoid you and offer less and less help and wish you would get off his ass. You think this people leave home just for fun ? They do it in hope to earn money/more money then they could at home, its the circle of poverty. You who are not within this circle can not compare that with your brothers invitation to a BBQ, get real man !

          • E Puff

            CB, you have the most bitter perspective I have ever had the misfortune to read. What kind of dismal life have you lived? Don’t tell me about life, I’m a black woman in America, which means everything I own, I worked for and deserve it. I can empathize with my fellow man no matter where he or she lives. We are more than simply surviving on the instinct encoded into our DNA. So much more than that. Do I think humans are superior to animals? (to quote colors of the wind) that ‘every tree, every animal, even every rock has a life, a spirit, and a name’. I own 3 cats, I treat them like they are my children. They even take turns sleeping at the foot of my bed. But the difference between me and my cats is that they are driven by instinct and survival. Because of the comfort that they have, they are able to experience a bit more than that. Unlike cats or any other animals, Humans have that ability to experience love whether we are with or without the things we need, want, and desire. Do Chinese parents raise their children to be their “secret” retirement fund? You bet your ass they do. So did people in the west, until bank financed and government financed programs were introduced. Prior to Social Security in America, an elderly couple relied on children to care for them in their old age, and that is an obligation we still owe our parents regardless of any funds. I tell my teenagers all the time… “I changed your diapers, and one day you will change mine” LOL even though I fully expect to have all the retirement funds i need. I do expect them to be dutiful and there’s nothing wrong with that. I take care of my mother now and she is only 58 years old. YOU ARE ASSUMING too much about this person’s circumstances, and inferring too much about the lives of other people and their MOTIVES — assuming, they have any at all. You project too much of your surreptitious personality into the lives of others. I chose, to give everyone the benefit of doubt until they give me reason to believe otherwise.

          • mankouzanghua

            the only reason i bring up one’s brother is because you used it as an example of human nature – that brothers can cheat and kill one another. my point was that your worldview would have to be very skewed to believe that this is the norm, or that it is relevant to virtually any scenario about one brother wanting to see another, or any scenario about a man, separated from his parents throughout the year, wanting to be home for the most important holiday.

            when his mother burst into tears on hearing that he had been sleeping in the train station, how did you interpret this? that she was worried she wouldn’t be getting money from her son? maybe she was acting to ensure that he wouldn’t quit trying and that he would get the tickets and make it home and give her the money? this guy is probably treated like a king when he gets home, even though what he is able to send home is extremely little.

          • E Puff

            CB is an elitest trying to interpret the behaviors and emotions of people he sees as beneath him. Whether he claims to think he is better than anyone else or not, all of his perceptions are no different than some imperialist looking down on the natives. He claims they can’t feel love (far too lofty for the poor), their thoughts and motivations are “of survival”, simple, but cruel beings that they are.

          • rollin wit 9’s

            i saw a guy the other day holding a 100 kuai note and luring what must have been a child under 3 to come get it. Now I know how the mind gets fcked up here. Get em’ young!

      • jin

        youre a faking idiot.
        oh and its diseases and not deceases.
        …. your english is very good :)
        maybe your mom wont be happy when you come home without any money. but its not like that for 99.99% of people.

      • Li Qin Kê

        I love my lazy loafer son. But if he comes home empty-handed again, I am going to bitch-slap him. Mei bought his mother a Porche. Is it too much to ask that my son buys me a few simple things – cigarettes, wine, a car, etc. These are the things a son would buy his mother if he loved her.

  • E Puff

    I would buy the poor man’s ticket if I knew how much they cost and where to buy.

    • coala banana

      good for you, but maybe you missed something… the problem is not that he has no money to buy them. They are just not available for his destination !

      BTW, even the problem would be money and you provide the money for his trip, wouldn’t that be unjust to all the other thousands of migrant workers which can’t make it home ? Most likely he would be hated for that, and most likely he would also hate you afterwards, after he realizes that he couldn’t made it on his own and he accepted the help of someone else. Therefor you would just provide a temporary solution to his problem, something like a touch up, or shitty repair, knowing that his problem would still be the same next time and probably you would make it even bigger.

      What if on the trip you paid for him, his train collides with another one and his family or he gets killed ?

      Many maybes, I know, but if you just keep him as he is now and don’t get involved, its still the best you can do for both of you.

      • Quinon

        This is the dumbest post I have ever read, I have read a lot of dumb things on the internet.

        • Keius

          I concur. Especially the part where “and most likely he would also hate you afterwards, after he realizes that he couldn’t made it on his own and he accepted the help of someone else.”

          Sigh…another one of those scratch my head moments.

        • coala banana

          its human nature and it seems you know very little about your fellow humans. See if you help someone, he is for course thankful for it, BUT right after that when the joy comes down, comes shame. The very same shame might “force” him to avoid you in the future, cause every time he sees you he will in fact feel shame and shame hurts, you will be the one who will always remind him of how deep he has sank and how he had to lower himself in front of someone else, and it can even turn out into hate. He might not necessarily show it to you later on, but deep inside he feels shame and hate cause of his own incompetence. The fact that you solved his problem doesn’t do ANY good for his own self believe and self confidence, in fact it does more harm in the long run. People most of the time chose the way of least resistance, and it easier, I mean even look at you and your reply, to develop hate,anger and ignorance towards a problem, then to really go deep into your self and looking for the root cause of your feelings, or to look at things from another perspective.

          Help people just a bit, push them a tiny bit, but let them solve their problems on their own, if they can make it, they will be proud of themselves and its a feeling of self earned success. If they can’t make it, then fuck em, they were not worth it anyway.

          It might sound dumb for you, and maybe you are just too young or inexperienced to understand such things as humans nature and behavior, but that doesn’t qualify that i call YOU dumb or ignorant, lets call you just….. inexperienced ?

          • E Puff

            If you were in America, I would call you a Right Wing Republican. I don’t mean that as a compliment. I don’t think I have ever in all of my life, have witnessed an act of ingratitude such as you describe. I give money to homeless people all the time and I also give quite a bit of charity. People are always grateful to receive help when they need it. We are not all born equals and life is more often than not, unkind to people born on the wrong side of the tracks. Charity creates balance and God loves a cheerful giver. If everyone in the world in the world thought as you do, it would be a much colder place. Thank God for balance. That for every one of you, there is someone like me. If someone were to be unappreciative for any kindness shown to him, then he’ll only bring bad karma to himself.

          • coala banana

            Fuck, i guessed that you believe in god and baby jesus ! That explains a lot and also your naivety :-)

            You know my problem with you christian baby jesus is, that you believe in all kind of nonsense without any evidence. You people are just not able to make up your own mind an form and own opinion. Believing in paradise and hell ? You also like to make everyone know what kind of good things you folks do. You talk about charity but no nothing about it how it REALLY works ! You thank god for balance and you know that he loves a cheerful giver ?

            You guys over there are really dumber then i thought you are ! I am sure that you also believe in the bible, prayers and you most likely believe in creation and not evolution ? Fuck ! Whats wrong with you people? Brainwashed and scared by your church or parents into believing this crap?

            Hey, check, this Tim Tebow dude, you americans are nuts when it comes to religion. Praying to god to win a fucking sports game ? You guys pray for all kind of unnecessary shit to an invisible man in the sky, asking for help and favors. Do you guys really believe, assuming there is something like a god, that he cares about the outcome of a football game, picking sides (fuck the other team praid too), asking for luck, power, a car, bigger titts, less fat, or whatever, and at the same time 16.000 children die cause of hunger EVERY single day ?

            You guys are not just dumb, you are plain arrogant and ignorant. Making a big deal cause of some change you give to a bum from time to time. Give money to charities where 98% of it disappears for admin costs and into dark channels into hands of corrupted people. I give over years every month 500 people jobs and pay them salaries so they can care about themselves without the help of your god, prayers or asking for a fucking place in your fucked up paradise.

            Get real, stop believing this crap, make yourself free from this nonsense, get fucking creative and start to work towards your goals, try to be a productive member of your society, have sex and fun too, form your own opinions and stop asking your god for help, do it on your own….and stop being such hypocrites making a big deal out of what kind of good person you all are. AND what is most important: don’t teach your own children this crap, scaring the shit out of them with “jesus is watching you”, “god knows and sees everything”, and “there is a place called hell, where all the bad people will end”…thats child abuse in my opinion, but you peoples biggest sin is to create another generation of dumb ass god fearing citizens which can think for themselves and which explain everything with its coming from god, and in case it goes wrong it was “gods will” ???

          • E Puff

            Oh heavens, did I send you on an anti-religous tangent! I am no bible thumper and I do believe religion is the cause of a lot of evil. But there you are, making assumptions about whether I attend church or not. My point of view has nothing to do with any church or anything I have been taught. If I believe in a higher power, that is my choice. I let my spiritual compass be my guide in life and that comes from within, not from some institution or some moronic school of thought. I believe what I believe because I allow my heart to remain open so that I can receive the knowledge and wisdom that I can from this infinite Universe, of which we are such a tiny part. So you can take from that, what you will. I could care less about a Tebow or whatever sports team, or bible thumping liars and politicians.

            As for the charity I give, whether it is to a person on the street, a friend, or to the places I send money to each month, it is my money to do with as I will and I can give in any manner I so chose.

      • E Puff

        I meant not that he couldn’t pay, obviously he has the funds or he would not be in line to buy a ticket. I suppose he put a “human” face on his plight, than if I had not saw those pictures. And buy I would buy the tickets for him, meaning I have access to the internet, he said that was not an option for him otherwise he would have tried that first. I don’t know, it’s just a weird situation all around. I would rent a car and drive where I needed to go or bum a ride from a trusted person who is going there and pay for my ride. That being said, you have a hopeless view on the world. Bad things can happen. GOOD THINGS can happen too.

      • jin

        i award you with the most stupid post award 2012.
        is this your company btw?
        is this you?

        • coala banana

          it might be a stupid in your eyes, and you are entitled to your opinion, but when you don’t agree with something, then the only thing you can come up with is to call it stupid ? No own opinion or counter argument where you can prove that it was stupid ?

          • E Puff

            ha, you said I was dumb and ignorant above. Oh, that’s right. You said “inexperienced” — hypocrite.

      • Li Qin Kê

        You are a piece of human garbage. E Puff was graciously offering to pay the freight on my lazy loafer son. Then you suggest that the train collides with another and all my gifts get destroyed. How can you even think such a thing. It made me cry.

    • Li Qin Kê

      You can at http://www.chinatraintickets.net/. My heart is overflowing with joy at the thought of my lazy loafer son returning. Make sure you book lots of luggage space for his gifts to me.

      He wants a ticket from Kangzhou, Zhejiang Province to Yongzhou, Changsha, Guilin, or Nanning on the 17th, 18th, or 19th.

  • wgh

    Totally terrible!

  • GodsHammer

    No matter what country you live in… if everyone goes on holiday at the exact same time…it’s inefficient. So sad for this guy but if he could wait for 5-6 days in line and not have come up with a better solution, then he deserves to ‘suck the hind teat’, and will likely do so for the foreseeable future. He could likely have worked for that 5-6 days and then chilled with his family AFTER everyone else is back to work…or just worked through the holiday and taken an alternative time off.

    • dace

      Ah yes, thats what would happen in a normal country, but in China its unthinkable that you wouldn’t go home for CNY. Not to mention that a lot of country folk only get CNY off – my wife’s family all work around 345 days per year, with just 20 or so days off over CNY.

    • Keius

      I don’t think you understand the situation at all.
      Alternative time off is not possible for a poor migrant like him. The time off is considered something of a national holiday. And it will be the only time off he’ll have the entire year.
      And based on the post, he is working those 5-6 days, then spending the rest of the time waiting in line.
      When everyone else is back to work, he needs to be back to work or he won’t have any work at all (ie no job).
      There is no work during the holiday, everything’s shut down (factories). If he doesn’t go back home, he’ll be sitting around waiting for the new year to end so he can go back to work with everyone else.

      There is a reason why this is a huge problem every year….at least for those who can’t afford more convenient alternatives. Poor migrants can’t afford air travel.

  • White Phosphorus

    There just needs to be a better ticket booking system and queuing system in China for CNY. Such simple solutions, for such complicated matters…you only need a team of qualified individuals to sit down and make a plan.

    • The Dude

      ‘…you only need a team of qualified individuals to sit down and make a plan’

      Therein lies the major flaw in your master plan… ‘qualified individuals’

      Not only that, even if the secret qualified immortals exist, and they did finally hack-out a plan, it would take the next 5,000 years for all the necessary departments to stamp the multitude of documents produced by such a meeting.

      It would take another 5,000 years for it to be actually implemented.

      It was 5,000 years ago that the then emperor made a mandate that anyone buying a train ticket (even though they hadn’t been invented at the time) would have to show their ID card.

      This only came into effect last year.

      • Keius

        You forgot the 1 day it would take for corrupt bureaucrats to find a way to break the system in order to take their cut of the profits.

        The gov’t is nuts if it thinks the ID card thing is actually having any major effect on the scalping.

    • coala banana


      i think you got something wrong here. In china its the other way around, its always in fact a simple matter, but the solutions are complicated !

      “you only need…”, when i hear that, it reminds me of myself, when i arrived here 6 years ago. I used “but you only need……” about 50 times a day. Well after a few months you still know that you are in fact right, but that doesn’t mean that you are right in china.

      “Solutions and matters ?” Let me tell you this from my personal experience……Here, they just go hand in hand when there is some money involved for certain groups and people. Its never about how to make things easier and how to organize better, its about how much money can be made out of it and how fast it can be made. Sad fact is that most money is made when things can’t be overlooked by everyone, when they are made more complicated then they really are, when you don’t provide the cure but just the cheap medication, so i can get sure that you will remain sick and will always come back fore more. I make you a life time dependent customer of mine. I provide you with the solution (cure), and i will never see you again:-)

      I understand both sides, and while i have a lot of sympathy for the poor folks here, let me tell you that i also understand the ones which cheat them. You deal with kinda unthankful and unloyal folks around you. While there are also some good people floating around, the chanced that you run into one of them are quite small. Once you give people the small finger, they will demand your whole hand. People are greedy for a reason. In china there is still too much money which can be made with very old fashion style corruption, and the only people which are really pissed about it are the ones which can’t take a share out of it and which are denied the entrance to play in one of this ball parks.

      While my sympathy is with this migrant worker, I would trust him just as much as i trust the corrupted people i know, if you know what i am saying….

    • Stu

      To be fair, though, it must genuinely hard. Sure there is a great deal of ticket scalping etc going on, but at the end of the day they’re still trying to move a ridiculous number of people all at the same time. The beginning of a solution would be requiring employers to give their workers holidays at other times of the year- but how would you enforce that?

      • coala banana

        their problem is that all people want to go home at the same fucking time. They are obsesses with their new year and they make a big deal out of it. In most western countries just the 1st january is a holiday, 31st december is a workday, in some cases just half day holiday. I found that their chinese new year is has just negative effects.

        1. all people like to go home at the same time
        2. 4 weeks before CNY, they become totally unmotivated to work, they slow down drastically as closer it gets to new year, same for the 4 weeks afterwards
        3. weeks before new year cheating, lying and stealing increases, cause everyone likes to make some money/additional money before he goes home

        I say reduce the CNY to just one day, to make it unattractive for so many people to go home at the same time. Companies should keep on working over holidays, sending people on holiday in shifts, workers with kids should be able to go during school holidays, others either the week before or the week after.

        But as mentioned before, nothing will change, cause there is too much money which can be made by corrupted officials during the new years chaos.

        • E Puff

          You are terrible person to want companies to take away someone’s holiday because people get “inconvenienced” by travel.

          • coala banana

            not taking anything away, just let them go at different times to avoid the chaos, or at least to reduce the chaos to a minimum.

            what would the world look like when there would be just people like you ? All would walk around happy with flowers and singing nice songs in duet with birds, praising god, loving each other.

            And then suddenly the sky gets dark, everyone is scared. No more singing, all flowers get dark and the birds are all dead. Fuck ! even god has disappeared out of fear ! Cause who is coming out of his cave ? Yeah right, its Coala Banana, the terrible ! And we all know what he is going to do ! He comes for his share ! Everyone is frightened and runs in different directions, and Coala does what he does best, he catches the next best beauty with reasonable tits and ass and carry her back into his cave to do fuck the shit out of her ! and we all know that he does that pretty damn good !!!

          • E Puff

            I wouldn’t run, I would beat your ass for ruining everybody’s happiness. :)

          • coala banana

            :-), no need to worry baby, I am sure we both have enough happiness between our legs to make the sun shine again outside our cave ! I bet even your god would sneak a look from time to time to see the real power of sexual desire ! This performance would be worth an 11th commandment ! Now i ask you, are you with me on this ride ??? Of course you are baby ! Can you feel the vibe ? yeah, thats cause of me doing what i do best !

          • E Puff

            you really truly believe you are a stud. You would probably poop your pants in front of a real woman.

          • mr. weiner

            Note the suave European charm at work here. The numbers game, go up to 10 different women and ask them straight up, nine slaps in the face later one will say “yes”. Voila! your in.

          • coala banana

            “you really truly believe you are a stud. You would probably poop your pants in front of a real woman.”

            i would like to poo into my pants right in front of you !

        • http://thecapitalinthenorth.blogspot.com jixiang

          Y4es, but it’s a holiday, like Christmas. These things make people happy. Do you want to abolish Christmas as well while you are at it?

        • Stu

          Problem with that is that many companies simply wouldn’t give their employees any holiday at all. Think about it: if a policeman goes past a building site at Spring Festival and they’re still running, he knows they’re breaking the law. If you tried to introduce more flexible holidays, suddenly you’ve got to have some way of checking up on every single employee of every single construction site/factory.

  • http://www.makeyourownpheromones.com michael

    why not book them a month early?

    • Patrick

      The earliest time to book a ticket is 12days by Phone…or by internet which you can hardly access.

  • typingfromwork

    This time of the year, there are always stories like this. It is heartbreaking. I hope everyone can get back home safely to enjoy their Lunar new year. Especially this poor fellow.

  • Clara

    That sucks really bad…

  • Fu ZhiGao

    How about get bus tickets or pay a ticket scalper?

    • Ana88

      Tickets have your ID card # on the bottom which is then crosschecked with the digitized stamp in the corner while you’re on the train — you can’t scalp them.

      Bus tickets depends on the area — some are only sold day of, most are sold a specific amount of time beforehand like the train tickets, and traffic is usually a TOTAL DISASTER on the roads, you have no idea how long it’ll take really.

  • DRaY

    Call me insensitive right, but Why doesn’t this dumb ass go home late or just buy a more expensive ticket. Not the most expensive.. they next price up … these guys always try to buy the cheapest tickets and end up sitting around for days , when they can probably pay 50rmb more and get a ticket. Time is money waiting a week for a ticket?? yeah sure, …. I’d rather waste another 100rmb than stand around for 5days, I guess someone’s “red envelope” is gonna be a little light , but at least I will be home for the holiday. Ask any Chinese person, they would rather wait around before they would pay extra.

    • mankouzanghua

      some people hardly have any time at all but still have WAY more time than money

    • Ana88

      The one picture they showed of the computer screen says sold out for all types of tickets, even just standing room.

  • Irvin

    If he missed home so much he shouldn’t have left home.

  • Bunny99

    If the trains are as crowded as I see each year in the online photos I suspect that if I had managed to buy a ticket for a nice seat on the train he wants to travel on I wouldn’t be able to get to my seat because of the standing ticket passengers, plus the extra standing passengers who got past the ticket check on the platform gate (because they have an arrangement with the guy who controls the gate staff – or someone representing him), plus the gangster types who just forced their way onto the platform. Probably I couldn’t even be able to get on the train – my ticket wouldn’t be much use.

    If the trains are as crowded as I see in the photos online every year then the ticket inspector isn’t going to be able to move along the train to check tickets and certainly wouldn’t be able to ask for ID cards too – if he came across a group of ten men with no tickets at all I doubt he would challenge them. On such crowded trains the guard might lock himself in his cabin and hope everyone on his train survives the journey – if he did I wouldn’t blame him.

    In such cases the man in this story should stop queuing and wait for a representative of the rail mafia to contact him and arrange for him to be squeezed onto the train.

    I feel sorry for these guys, it’s their only holiday and they have to push, shove, queue, bribe and dodge just to get home.

  • RuN

    this man has worked so hard, he deserves a ticket.
    the transportation department or government failed to do its job, best wishes to him

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  • http://asianbusinessdaily.com Richard

    This is a heart wrenching story but I’m not clear on the cause.
    Is it that the ticketing system keeps breaking down, or that the demand for tickets so out strips supply?

  • Justin

    Anybody know what happened to this man?

  • stoutboy

    “January 9th, a reporter in Kangzhou, Zhejiang Province…”

    I think you mean “Hangzhou”?

  • Sameet Pattnaik

    So who to blame the government or just ourselves? feeling pety is all we can do ?

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