Girl Runs Away with Wandering Singer the Day Before Her Wedding

For love, A Ke and Hu Li choose to lead a vagrant life.
For love, A Ke and Hu Li choose to lead a vagrant life.
For love, A Ke and Hu Li choose to lead a vagrant life.

From QQ:

Girl Falls in Love with Luzhou Wandering Singer, Runs Away the Day Before Her Wedding

On Zhejiang TV’s May 18th episode of “China’s Dream Show”, a love story told by a couple of vagrant lovers from Luzhou moved many people.

When A Ke was about to leave, Hu Li cried, her insisting on going with him.

A Ke told Hu Li that they wouldn’t be able to make enough money on the road, that she might not be able to eat well or live comfortably. Hu Li patted her pocket, “I still have over 1,000 yuan with me.”

And so, their wandering because of love began—-

May 18th, Zhejiang TV’s “China Dream Show”. Zhou Libo: “Love and bread, which one’s more important?” A Ke: “Love is the most important!” Hu Li: “Love is the most important!” As soon as they had spoken, thunderous applause erupted. A Ke and Hu Li are a couple of lovers from Luzhou. For love, A Ke took Hu Li away the day before she was going to get married to another man, whereupon they continued his life as a wandering singer [busker].

For the first time, in front of an audience, the two lovers shared their love story…


He chose to become a wandering singer because of his love for music. At the same time, A Ke also hopes that during his constant travels, he can find his father, who had left to look for work and gone missing.

29-year-old A Ke is a guitarist. Luzhou City Longmatan District Luo Han County is his hometown. During the Spring Festival of 2007, when he was still a senior student at Lanzhou Jiaotong University, A Ke began his career as a wandering singer. A Ke says he had become a wandering singer when he wasn’t trained for it. In university he was thermal energy engineering major, which had nothing to do with music.

He chose to become a wandering singer because of his love for music. At the same time, A Ke also hopes that during his constant travels, he can find his father—-the year A Ke took the Gaokao university entrance examination, his father left town to look for work, and was never heard from again.

In 2007, A Ke left Luzhou with his guitar, traveling by foot, bicycle, train, and other methods to begin his life of drifting and singing. Every time he reached a city, at night, A Ke would go to crowded underground passages or pedestrian streets, and his art to pay for his traveling expenses.

During this period of time, to A Ke’s surprise, throughout all this, he didn’t find his father, but would encounter the most important girl in his life. That day was 2007 June 30th. That day was also A Ke’s graduation day, but he didn’t go back to college to participate in the graduation ceremony.

That day, A Ke was in Wuhan, singing.

The Encounter

After treating a homeless little boy to a bowl of hot dry noodles, A Ke went on singing. The whole thing was witnessed by a girl. After listening to “Starry Sky”, she put some money into his guitar bag.

2007 June 30th, on the pedestrian street of Wuhan’s Jiang Han Road, A Ke was singing Xu Wei’s “Starry Sky”: “…no matter how far we are, as long as I softly call you, you’ll come to me no matter what, my girl…” This was the second day of A Ke’s arrival in Wuhan, and from 9pm to 9:30pm, A Ke earned over 30 yuan altogether. While A Ke was singing, a little boy stayed by his side. The little boy told A Ke that he ran away from home and it has already been a day since he last ate. A Ke decided to buy the little boy something to eat.

After he treating this little boy to a bowl of hot dry noodles, A Ke continued with his singing. The whole thing was witnessed by a girl at the side of a flower terrace. This girl happened to be Hu Li. That year, A Ke was 24 years old, and Hu Li was 20. Hu Li had just quit her job in a clothing store, and was taking a walk outside.

After A Ke finished singing “Starry Sky”, Hu Li came over, and put some money into his guitar bag. After that, two of them struck up a conversation. First they chatted on the pedestrian street, then by the shore of Yangtze river. A Ke told Hu Li about his life as a wandering singer, and played the guitar for her. An old woman came towards them, hoping that they could buy something from her. A Ke bought Hu Li a bottle of soft drink.

From then on, every day when A Ke was performing, Hu Li would come keep him company. She even bought a blue guitar, and was going to learn how to play it from A Ke. In Wuhan, A Ke stayed for 20 days. For wandering singer A Ke, this was obviously unusual. Before this, A Ke usually only stayed three to five days in each city. When A Ke felt he had to leave, Hu Li cried. He Li told A Ke that she must go with him. A Ke told Hu Li that they wouldn’t be able to make enough money on the road, that she might not be able to eat well or live comfortably. Hu Li patted her pocket, “I still have over 1,000 yuan with me.”

Running Away from Marriage

Her parents had scheduled Hu Li’s wedding for the tenth day of the new Lunar year, she told A Ke in a text message. On the ninth day, A Ke rushed to Hubei where the two met, rented a van, and fled.

After leaving Wuhan, A Ke continued his vagrant life. However, he was no longer alone. On the road, the two of them have been to Ezhou, Lushan, Jiujiang and Nanchang, one after another. The night they arrived in Nanchang, they had no money left. Seeing Hu Li’s face covered with sweat, A Ke knew that Hu Li was hungry. However, Nanchang’s underground passages prohibited playing instruments until after 10pm at night. When 10pm finally came, A Ke earned 10 yaun, and he immediately bought Hu Li some bread, a pineapple, and a bottle of water. After finally persuading Hu Li to eat the food, Hu Li suddenly took half the bread and stuffed it into A Ke’s mouth…

In 2008 September, A Ke brought Hu Li back to Luzhou. He didn’t find his father, and his mother had remarried to another man. A Ke rented an apartment in urban Luzhou, near Ma Shaqiao, found a job in a bar, and settled down.

In Luzhou, the two of them lived for two years, until fall of 2010 when they once again left Luzhou and went on drifting and singing.

Hu Li’s home is in Hubei Jianli County. A Ke has previously went to pay his respects to Hu Li’s parents. Although he had bought gifts, as a wandering singer, A Ke didn’t leave a good impression on Hu Li’s parents.

2Spring Festival 2012, A Ke continued singing for a living in Changsha, and Hu Li went back home to Jianli. However, on the fourth day of Chinese New Year, A Ke received a text message from Hu Li, “My parents have found me a marriage partner, I’m going to get married on the tenth day of this month…” A Ke rushed to Jianli right away. On the ninth day of the new Lunar year, the two of them met in Jianli, immediately rented a van and left. Because the bride’s side broke off the engagement, Hu Li’s parents paid the groom’s side 30,000 yuan in compensation.

Hu Li says that was the most difficult moment of her life. On one side was her parents, and on the other side the man she couldn’t be without. “Because of guilt, after leaving home this Spring Festival, I haven’t gone back to Jianli.”

The Future

A Ke says he must be diligent in busking, and when things are slightly more financially comfortable, he’ll open a small clothing store, to sell clothes by day, and still be able to sing by night.

On set at “China Dream Show”, A Ke and Hu Li’s love story moved the audience. The distance between them and their dream—-to hold a dream-like musical wedding–was another step closer.

With regards to what has happened, A Ke has begun reflecting upon it, “The thing Hu Li’s mother is worried about most is that I’m financially unstable, and wouldn’t be able to take good care of Hu Li. Now I have begun slowly saving up some money. From Monday to Thursday, if I’m lucky, I can make 200 yuan every day. From Friday to Saturday, if I’m lucky, I can make more than 300 yuan. We’re trying our best to save as much money as we can, on one hand, to make up for the the cost of breaking off the marriage. And on the other hand, when we become a little more financially secure, we want to open a small clothing store, selling clothes during the day, and still being able to sing at night.”

As A Ke’s good friend, Luzhou Longmatan District teacher Tian Zixing has born witness to the many twists and turns that A Ke and Hu Li have been through over the past 5 years. “A good result, that’s my biggest hope!”

As for the dream-like musical wedding of their dreams, Hu Li and A Ke have already figured out the opening remarks they want to make [at the beginning of the ceremony], “28, the number of the cities we have been through; 20, the age when I met you. We’ve gone through 6 guitars, and sang 829 songs in 156 underground passageways. 48 times we’ve been chased away, and 387 kuai and 5 mao is the most amount of money we’ve ever made in one day. A 45 square meter rented apartment is the small home we currently live in. Over 247 phone calls, my mom has asked me to leave him, telling me not to believe in love…” Over the past 5 years, Hu Li and A Ke have been drifting because of their love.

And during their wedding, the two of them also wanted to sing the song they wrote together, “Look at the stars, look at the moon, they are the song you wrote for me. Where is the wind? Where is the water? Are you still there? My love, don’t be sad, it matters not, though muddy is the road. As long as you give me your heart, we’ll have a happy life…”

Comments from QQ:

腾讯成都市网友 愤怒的公牛:

To this girl’s fiancé, I’m sincerely glad for you, it’s fortunate you didn’t marry her, otherwise, who knows how many “green hats” she’d make you wear [how many times she would cheat on you] in the future!

腾讯攀枝花市网友 零度体温: (responding to above)

Her running away from the marriage is because there was no love. Her fiancé was introduced to her by her family, they didn’t know anything about each other at all. Maybe, for you, you don’t know what love is.

腾讯网友 等青春散场:

Hate this kind of person. If you want to pursue love, then don’t use matchmaking. Nobody minds you seeking your own happiness, but why drag a fiancé through the mud? On one hand you prepare to marry someone, on the other hand, you run away with another man, what is this?

腾讯网友 李子:

I saw that episode, too moved to say anything. Bless them.

腾讯成都市网友 ~:

Whether it’s good or bad, we don’t have the right to judge~

腾讯天水市网友 木偶的枫:

Love without bread can’t go far!!

腾讯攀枝花市网友 零度体温:

Being able to persevere like this really isn’t easy, so I wish you guys the best. As for those who say bad things about them, you are pathetic. Perhaps through your whole life, you won’t know what love is, and only know about personal benefit!

腾讯天水市网友 木偶的枫:

2B youth!!!

腾讯泸州市网友 一切***OK:

If you love each other, you should cherish it. Work hard to make money, and live a good life. After all, wandering about isn’t the solution [can’t go on forever]. As you become older, your child will come to this world one day, and you all need a stable home. Bless you.

腾讯网友 黑色的签笔:

Although not so rational, still let us wish them the best. Put yourselves in their position and think, if your other halves were to suddenly become poor and blank, would you immediately find someone else?

腾讯绵阳市网友 綠茶:

Once that hobo makes her pregnant, she’ll definitely regret it.

What do you think? Have your parents ever disagreed with your choice of spouse or significant other? What did you do?

Wandering singers. Personals @ chinaSMACK.


Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.


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