Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Ant tribe’ growing: Survey [China Daily]

Ant tribe’ growing: Survey
By Chen Jia
Source – China Daily, published June 25, 2010

Beijing – Dressed in a crisp suit, Li Zhirui, sitting on the window seat of a Beijing bus, silently gazes at the European-style villas, luxury cars and illuminated shopping malls as they pass him by.

As soon as his stop arrives, he takes off his tie and walks to his rickety second hand motorbike parked nearby.

He doesn’t even have a license. But he is far away from the city, safe from the traffic police and his colleagues, who might judge his life outside of the office.
After a 15-minute ride, he finally squeezes his way into the reality of life: An 8-square-meter room that costs 500 yuan ($74) a month, or a fourth of his salary, where he sleeps away his nights.

It’s just another day in Li’s life.

The 27-year-old native of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province is trying to save every penny he can to buy an apartment in the national capital.

His determination to one day become a homeowner has become even stronger after his fiance, a fourth-year university student, dumped him last month when he refused to buy a second hand car and an engagement ring for her.

“She hated the fact that I used to bring my drinking water from home and only bought her a cup of coffee when we went out,” he said.

“My monthly salary is only 2,000 yuan. So you calculate how many cups of coffee I can afford.”

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Filed under: China Daily, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Politics, Population, Social

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June 2010
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