As we passed by Shangfeng Noodle Shop, a nauseating scent floated out that could make one vomit. The lady boss fished out a piece of swelling pork meat from a water bucket, and bended down to chop it up. She threw chopped smaller pieces into the pot without turning around. The left-behind child Xiao Mai received yuan per month from his guilty parents.
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Where did it go? He left home to find work at the age of He was envious of other workers with their families around. He was alone, and kept receiving rejections. But in Sanhe, that kind of look does not exist. Not long after, like totaled cars, they are hard to start. When really short of cash, they would wander around the streets, like primitive men, in the hope of running into acquaintances who can give them a five or a ten.
As more and more people come to Sanhe, the competition has grown fierce with fewer and fewer daily settlements. Since she has got hold of a cheap bed, Sister Hong has also relaxed her steps. None of her sister friends want to go find a job, and they chat or sleep all day long. Song Tao has quit smoking for the past three months. Now he smokes again, squatting on the street. A factory worker shuffled in his flip-flops, and swung by.
He seemed to know Song Tao, but neither of them said anything. Friendship does not exist in Sanhe. I asked him, whether he ever felt afraid, and whether he thought about what to do after he turns The village is full of the walking dead.
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It is already a great thing to live well today. There is no longer hope in life. If you ever stop, then you feel very sad. The human will is often mistakenly seen as a switch. You can turn it off today, and turn it on tomorrow.
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Sanhe gods are penniless and cannot work. It is not hard to say that they are useless. But the apprentices in nearby hair salons thought otherwise.
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They came with half-length mirrors, sat workers in a chair, and practiced their skill on them as if they were shearing sheep. In two minutes, a tap on the shoulder, done. And the workers happily walked away with their new weird hairdos. The gods then are deceived to become legal representatives or take up loan installments for them. If they question anything, they will be corned and beaten. Song Tao was once hungry.
Out of his mind, he sold his ID for yuan. It was not until the court sent for him did he know that he was in trouble. The most able guy I have seen had three full screens of loan apps on his cellphone. His attitude was, well, I was able to get them with my own skills, and I would not pay the money back. These things make the Sanhe gods sink deeper. When the gang wars were rampant, Sister Hong often heard miserable cries from the street.
He was diligent and hardworking. After cheating him out of his ID card, the cheater made fun of him on an online post. Xiao Hei could not take it anymore, and was quickly out of his mind. Soon after, he did not wear shoes anymore, and jumped around like a rabbit. He adopted a little yellow street dog for company, but then the dog was stolen and eaten, and Xiao He also disappeared. The other Sanhe gods had no energy, and just wanted to take the money and leave after a couple days.
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Unfortunately, the manufacturing industry in Shenzhen has shrunk in the past few years, many sister workers have gone into service industries. Besides Sanhe, he has nowhere else to go, and now he falls into his old life circle. In the village, internet cafes line up the street next to each other. But he was not able to leave it all behind.
All his social relationships seemed to have collapsed, and he seemed to have sunken in a void. He wanted to hold onto something, to stop himself from sinking deeper, but nothing useful in this world had been prepared for him. No money, no use. After nothing came out of that relationship, he did not have any plans anymore.
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Sister Hong has also noticed that many Sanhe gods have given up on the idea of having a family. Her difference makes her occasionally suffer. If she finds someone to depend on, she would be willing to sweep the streets, do part-time gigs with him until death. This has become almost psychopathological for her. During her ten years in Sanhe, she has had three recognized husbands, three boyfriends, among them five and a half are Sanhe gods, but everyone has broken her heart.
When she met her first husband, he was a thief—the act of stealing reveals that he has more enthusiasm for life than a normal Sanhe god, thus he can only be counted as a half—and after they were together, they went to her hometown, and took over the supervision of a construction site. After years of hard work, they were able to save eighty thousand. One night, her husband sneaked out with all their savings. Sister Hong got on a motorcycle taxi, and urged the driver to go faster and faster to catch him.
But he could not help but make trouble at the factory.
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After having lived with him for two years, Sister Hong realized that her third husband was psychologically unstable. First, she thought that this guy just loved talking about politics, and was talented.
Later on, he just could not stop talking, so that the Sanhe gods were frightened of him, and those who could not stand him slapped him. As he was still working in the factory, a barrel of a few thousand pounds fell down on him and his colleague. The colleague was severely injured. He broke his leg, and had eight nails in it. His mind was not clear again. Sister Hong thought his company was not so bad, but he kept talking day and night. Right before they broke up, Sister Hong found out that their ex-girlfriends loved these songs. The two boyfriends could not put down their earlier relationships.
Still, Sister Hong wanted them to stay, pulling their sleeves, so that they could not go. In the end, one hit her with a beer bottle, and the other punched and kicked her. After all these pains, Sister Hong still ended up by herself. As soon as they started to talk about feelings and relationships, they closed themselves off.
Shanghai was expensive, nowhere to find a cheap hotel; Xiamen was windy, she spent a night at the railway station, cold and starved. She has left Sanhe 10 times and returned 10 times. She does not want to go through those tortures anymore. When we first met, Sister Hong had just broken up with her third boyfriend. She sat on a chair, and pulled up her pants to show me her bruises. He beat me, I held onto him, he continued beating me, I continued holding onto him. On the day he left, I looked for him like crazy all over Longhua. I really really wanted to be with him.
On the contrary, he was closer to his male friends. After she saw a photo of him in high-heels on the internet, she realized that he had been using her, abusing her. Despite all this, Sister Hong cannot stop being hopeful.
Her small hope tells her that the Sanhe gods just need something to hold onto, like a father, an older brother, a lover, a friend, and things would be different. A typhoon brought about three days of rain in Shenzhen. When Sister Hong came to see me, she brought her apprentice Lin Li with her. The Sanhe gods all knew that Lin Li was a bit slow. Sister Hong explained that when Lin Li was young, her father committed a crime, and was shot to death.
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