posted on February 22nd 2015 in with 0 Comments

Beijing/RatTribe/2014/pictures by Sim Chi Yin / VII / story by Ian Johnson/ Chang Wanle,18, works in restaurant in Beijing Southern Railway station, from Henan, shares this room with his girlfriend. / / Chang Wanle: Cheated right on arrival Almost as soon as Chang Wanle got off the train, arriving from his home in Anyang, Henan to Beijing for the first time, his dreams of the great capital city took a huge dent: he was cheated. An illegal taxi driver bundled him off and charged him a fare almost 10 times what it should have cost. That bad start last year gave him a ìlousyî first impression of Beijing, he said. The 18-year-old, who is here with his girlfriend now, sharing this 500 rmb-a-month basement room with her, feels better about things this time around. He left his job in a factory making electric sockets to now work cooking noodles and dumplings in a restaurant in Beijing Southern Railway station. He likes the peacefulness of the basement, he said. ìI can sleep pretty well because itís quiet here.î As a typical teenager, he parties as hard as he works, going out for meals with friends or going to sing his heart out at KTV parlors. Sometimes, he also goes to Tiananmen to take photos to ìshow off to friends back homeî. ìI show people back home, look, Iím in the capital city. People there think itís great to be in the capital. But my dad just tells me to be careful and donít get into trouble.î

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