I should put a disclaimer at the top of every entry I post:
Although I made all effort to make sure I honestly record what I see, I hear, and I think, this blog does not represent Shanghai. People with different history and status have competely different view about the city. It of cause does not represent China.
I read a peom about life in city v.s. life in village. I think it is very true. It reveals how different the two lives are. Let me translate some sentences of the peom and explain why it is true.
I live in city – I was born in hospital
I live in village – I was born in my home.
Don’t take it for granded that there are hospital in all villages. I viisted places where people deliver their babies in home.
I live in city – from today, I become happy citizen of the country.
I live in village – from today, I become a honorable tax payer for the country.
Actually everyone pays tax, but the burnden for people in countryside are much higher compared to the low income they have. They pay not only tax. There are many other fees they need to pay for the village.
I live in city – I am ill. Dad bring me to hospital. I am courious whether insurance cover it.
I live in village – I am ill. Dad sold the pig, and bring me to doctor.
Medical insurance only covers people in city. People in villages, and people who move from one city (home city) to the other city typically are not covered by any medical insurance. If they get ill, they need to pay for themselves.
I live in city – My family bought motor cycle, and prepare to buy car several years later.
I live in village – My family bought a new baby pig. Perhaps the year after next year, it will have more baby pigs.
Still, big contrast about what people are thinking about and expectation about future.
I live in city – Dad want to have a business of his own.
I live in village – Dad want to go into city, to be a farmer worker
Go to city is the dream of many people in villages. Now, farmer worker is a way, but very hard way. They work on construction site and work all days and night.
I live in city – country gave Dad all kinds of benefits, and waived all tax.
I live in village – Dad has to pay all the tax and fees back in home, and need to pay to get all kinds of licenses.
In the previous years, startups and small businesses in city was encouraged, but the situation for farmer workers got worse. From last year, things are getting better.
I live in city – Dad to go bank everyday, and servant smiles to him.
I live in village – Dad ask for delayed salary at the year end, but was beaten and insulted by business owners.
The previous years, farmer workers’ salary is not ensured. Many work for the whole year, and want to get their salary for the year. Many cannot get their salary, and don’t have money to go back home… The situation is better this Spring Festival.
I live in city – Government said Dad work on startups, and benefit the economy
I live in village – government said Dad’s rushing into city made big problems, and maliciously asking for salary.
I live in city – I can move freely in my country.
I live in village – I can live freely in my village.
This is interesting part. For people living in cities, they have city Hukou (or residential certificate) and they typically enjoy going to other cities. However, for people in villages (farmer resident), their move in the country, especially to move into city is restricted. Without Hukou, they don’t have benefit, don’t have medical insurance, and their child cannot go to local schools. (This is changing)
I live in city – Tomorrow is promising.
I live in village – Tomorrow is hopeless.
This is totally two different expectation about the future.
That is the current situation of the country. There are many good things everyday, and there are many bad things. One thing to point out is, many situation listed above are true about two years ago. Now, although it is still true in majority population, a lot of things are improving in the last two years. There is still a long way to go.