[China] A trucking life

When I called Da Jie (my oldest cousin) to tell her I was back in the village, I was surprised to find that she was in Xinjiang – all the way on the other side of the country. “Don’t worry, I should be back in time for the holiday!” she assured me. Da Jie has been on the road for the last 5 years. She travels in a long-distance delivery truck with her husband Da Jie Fu and 19-year old son Leilei.

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Jessica Fan
[China] A factory life

On the bus, I happened to sit next to Xiao Wang – a round-faced 24 year old man with an infectious smile. After breaking the ice by offering him a cookie, I asked him where he was headed. Xiao Wang was visiting a friend in Baigou in hopes of finding a new job there. He had been working in a Beijing factory making boxes for the past 2 months and had grown tired of it. “I don’t have any specific job in mind. I’ll see when I get there. It takes about a day to find work, at most 3 days.”

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TravelJessica FanChina
[China] A city life

My father grew up in the countryside of Hebei with his older and younger brother. Due to the hukou system, rural dwellers were not allowed to move into the cities. Since my grandfather had been working in the city of Tianjin before the restrictions, he was given “city dweller” status, which he eventually passed on to my youngest uncle (Lao Shu). It was Lao Shu and Lao Niang (his wife) who picked me up from the train station.

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Jessica Fan
[China] In the Clouds - Mr. Li's Take on Changing China

I've already met quite a few characters with great stories to tell. On the flight here, I had a long conversation with Mr. Li who sat next to me. He was a Beijing native and a product manager for a large tech company, on his way back from a business trip. He had spent a few years in Canada before moving back home, realizing that it was easier to find a job in Asia after the tech bubble. We talked about everything from China's state capitalism, to government accountability, to healthcare.

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