Elderly Scavenger Harassed on Shanghai Public Bus Line 82

A Shanghai bus.

A Shanghai bus.

From Sina:

Captured: Driver and passenger on public humiliate elderly scavenger

August 6th, Shanghai Public Bus Line 82, an elderly person makes a living collecting cardboard and plastic bottles only wanted to ride the public bus but a young man and woman kept trying to force him to get off the bus. Eventually, the young man ripped the old man’s bag as he disembarked and stormed off.

In the above video, the woman (bus driver) and male passenger yell at the old man accusing him of bringing on garbage and affecting the other passengers while the old man challenges them to go ahead and call the police.

A copy on YouTube:

Can’t see the above video?

The above copy has over 1.4 million views on popular Chinese video sharing website Youku with over 13,700 comments over 371 pages and 14,400 downvotes (at time of translation) since being uploaded 3 days ago.

It has been spreading on popular Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo (ex. 1 & 2), social network RenRen, and internet discussion forums like Mop and Baidu Tieba.

Naturally, the video is receiving a lot of discussion on popular Shanghai forums KDS (ex. 1 & 2) and Liba (ex. 1 & 2). It has also been reported on Shanghai’s Dragon Satellite Television Nightly News:

From Youku:

Shanghai Public Bus Line 82 refused scavenger passenger, driver already suspended, 110810 Dragon Nightly News

The above news report itself has been viewed over 400k times on Youku since it was uploaded yesterday, also with thousands of commends and an overwhelming amount of downvotes.

Comments from Liba:


Not letting the old man ride when the bus is this empty is a going a little too far.
That woman was so mean, I feel really bad for the old man, it isn’t as if he didn’t pay fare.
I’ve seen people who collect garbage on the buses in Hong Kong but have never seen people drive them away.


This seems to be something that is very difficult to simply judge right or wrong… However, what that guy did when getting off the bus was indeed going a little too far.


Those who look down on those who collect garbage are garbage themselves.


A public bus is for transporting passengers, not for transporting cargo.
If the things the old man is carrying are within the specified allowed volume [size], then he is allowed to ride the bus.
If they exceed the specified allowed volume, then he isn’t allowed to ride the bus.


If one’s circumstances weren’t truly bad, who would willingly go do this [collect garbage/recyclables]?

These days some people really don’t have any compassion. If this continues, I don’t know what things will be like when we’re old.


握手 Actually a lot of the time when we say to help the disadvantaged, it is at times like these that showing some understanding would be a quiet way of helping them.

Helping them isn’t only donating money or materials to them.

For that man to do what he did, his character is really low…


Such a big public bus and they can’t tolerate a single old man who collects trash? Is this a tragedy of this city or of this society?


Why are all the other passengers on the bus so indifferent?
This isn’t like standing forth to stop a thief or robber which might cause personal harm.

Who is the person that uploaded the video? What is your goal for making this video? What went through your heart as you were recording? Do you feel ashamed for yourself?


We live in a society that laughs at the poor but not at those who prostitute themselves. Told grandpa doesn’t look dirty, his things also seem to be well bundled, and the bus isn’t crowded either so I really don’t understand who he’s bothering.


There was a male passenger in the video who tapped the old man wanting to give him his seat, but under all the uproar caused by the driver and that other male passenger, he could only helplessly sit back down…


When comparing this old man to those young people who kneel on the ground or those people who are always pulling at your clothes begging, at least he’s relying on himself. I think the old man is admirable!~


How long must’ve the old man spent to collect such a large bag of garbage [recyclables]!

With the garbage scattered, the old man must be so anxious his blood pressure must’ve shot up.

So sad.

Must human flesh search!!!


I feel ashamed on behalf of Shanghainese people… For something like this to happen in the city I have grown up in truly makes my face red in front of my computer monitor…

If I were on that bus, I would stand forward… and buy that old man a luggage ticket…

Shanghai’s public bus personnel should really reflect upon themselves… not just public buses but also taxi drivers…

Last week while carrying my 2-year-old child, a Jinjiang [a taxi company in Shanghai] taxi driver actually refused to give us a ride without a reason and was even really mean yelling at us and slamming the car door, scaring my baby… If I didn’t have my child beside me, I definitely would’ve raised hell with him… It was the first time I’ve made a complaint call, and today they’ve called back but without anything really done…


I’m probably going to be yelled at for this but having a big bag of garbage next to you is indeed very uncomfortable, especially with it being summer right now there must have been an odor. Sigh…


After watching, I didn’t feel anything, but now with so many people on Weibo [microblogs] saying how Shanghainese people are so and so bad… To be honest, those who have low/poor characters are usually hard disks


People should not be separated into different classes, work should not be separated into different levels, as long one earns with their own labor, without stealing or robbing others, one should be respected.

An old man who makes a living collecting recyclable garbage is harassed while taking a bus in Shanghai.A man criticizes an old man who scavenges for recyclable trash for bringing his plastic bottles onto the public bus in Shanghai.

Comments from KDS:


I don’t think the driver was wrong. If it were you, would you want to lie next to garbage? Even if [the bus] is empty now, the moment more people get on the bus, you’re definitely going to come into contact with it. Those who are making sarcastic remarks should first go lie in a garbage pile for half and hour before coming back and expressing their opinion.


Human flesh search this beast of a ticket collector.


These two people are definitely Shanghai’s garbage! MD, so those who collect garbage aren’t allowed to get on the bus? What? They didn’t pay fare?


If you let him on and the odor is bad, then the passengers are going to go make complaints asking why garbage was allowed on.
Don’t let him on and there will also be be saying how hard it must be for the old man and asking why can’t he be let on. People will always have opinions and reasons.
No matter what, the one that suffers is the driver.


It is hard to know what to do, people will always have opinions and reasons, but to treat an old man, especially one who is also a Shanghainese old man, in that way is rather excessive [going too far].
First, to treat such an elderly person in such a disgusting method, isn’t that going too far? If you have the balls to use that tone/attitude against an YP, then you’d be a role-model.
Second, do the plastic bottles have an odor? If they don’t have an odor, then are they affecting other people?
Third, the old man’s things are thrown out several times in the video. It doesn’t matter if it is garbage, all that matters is who it belongs to now. Who allowed you to take other people’s private property [and do] as you please? I’m not trying to elevate this to a higher plane, but from a legal standpoint, who gives you this kind of right [to throw away other people’s things]?


The ticket seller’s attitude is poor, but wasn’t wrong.


So when someone is old, they don’t need to abide by the rules? So if they are pitiful, they can violate the rules?

So scavengers can just run wild as they please??

The new “Shanghai Municipal Regulations for the Management of Public Buses” also have requirements for the civilized use of buses by passengers. Passengers cannot bring on flammable, explosive, poisonous, radioactive, corrosive, offensively odorous, and other things that jeopardize the safety of the bus.

Are people forgetting this?


Although refusing to take on a passenger is a truth, the drive is also considering the entire department. On such hot days, where the air conditioned buses are also sealed and any odor can’t be fanned out, won’t the passengers who board later on and don’t know the truth also yell at the driver? The driver acted so that the other passengers wouldn’t be affected. When you are in a certain position, you must fulfill that position’s responsibilities. Those who have some character should first consider, does your behavior affect others?

Of course, we also shouldn’t be so demanding of an old man, asking that he have good character, that he consider others… Towards the elderly, it is proper to take pity and being compassionate/sympathetic towards them. The only thing is that we should even more condemn his children, his family, or XX, asking why the old man has no one to rely on, no one to depend on [no one to take care of them forcing them to have to scavenge to survive]?


That very last second when the door closed and hearing the old man, I was heart-broken.


If it were me, I’d give 10 yuan of money, and buy all of the garbage…


There is never a shortage of idiots. If it were you guys in that situation, you guys wouldn’t be disgusted with him and want him to get off the bus?
Always making demands of other people from behind a computer, such garbage.


I want to say, when dealing with the elderly, if you can yield to them, then yield to them.
You too will be old one day.


Seeing some of the comments on the mountain [referring to KDS], I have to wonder just how bankrupt social morality has become.
Those saying public buses have relevant rules and regulations, do none of you know that there is something in the world called morality that overrides the law? Much less rules and regulations? Sigh…

What do you think? Whose side are you on? What would you do? What do you think are the issues involved here?


Should the old man be allowed on the public bus with his bags of used and discarded recyclable plastic bottles?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

An old man who makes a living collecting recyclable garbage is harassed while taking a bus in Shanghai.An old man is yelled at by a bus passenger for bringing onto the Shanghai public bus his collection of recylable trash.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


Leave a Reply

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.