Going home for the holidays is always an effort. Whether it’s a 30-minute car ride or a 30-hour flight, it always feels like a lot of effort to go to in order to be questioned about your love life and career path. At least in Australia, the relatively short trip results in some sort of celebration/feast/piss up, and we can all continue on our merry way.
However, in countries like China, it’s a bit more of a slog to get home in time for the holidays, as an estimated 3 billion trips are made over a 40 day period which makes it the largest migration of human beings in the world. With all the commotion, you’d assume that it’d be pretty easy to get mixed up and end up somewhere you didn’t expect. Which is exactly what happened to a young migrant worker who was too broke to buy a train ticket. Old mate set off from the city of Rizhao on China’s eastern coast and had high hopes of making it to his hometown of Qiqihar, which is just over 1,500 km away.
Traffic police found him in the central province of Anhui, where he told them that he couldn’t read road signs or maps and relied on the kindness of strangers to direct him. Unfortunately, the kindness of strangers is not as reliable as a GPS and most of the directions given to him were wrong.
The poor bugger had even been sleeping in internet cafe’s and had undertaken the trip during one of the coldest winters China’s seen in recent times. After hearing his story, the coppers chipped in for his train ticket home and he should arrive in time. I guess that’s kind of like when your friend who’s just been paid buys you a beer at the pub. A drop in the ocean for them, but means the absolute world to you. Hopefully, old mate can give his legs a rest and have a proper snooze on the train home.