A college graduate drifter’s confession letter to his peasant worker father

| January 9th, 2010

20100109-driffer-01These days, a post titled “A college graduate drifter’s confession letter to his peasant worker father” on MOP triggered heated discussions. Poster named “I am a little cat” (我是小猫猫一个) just graduated from college almost for a year. His monthly salary is one thousand yuan (=150 USD) which is less than his peasant worker father’s, so he had been lying to his family about his life… Many netizens related to him and said “You are not lonely”; “Whether you have money or not, just go home for New Year”. The post soon spread onto other Chinese sites and triggered more discussions on the current social issues in China, college graduates having difficulties finding jobs or finding the suitable jobs. Highly educated new college graduates are forced to work at jobs that do not use their full potential because of the tough job market and wages. They are so called college graduate “migrant workers”. (“民工化”)

 

A college graduate drifter’s confession letter to his peasant worker father

Dad, Yesterday you asked me how much money I have saved. I said I have saved a little over eight thousand. You seemed a little unhappy, said I already worked almost a year, three thousand and two hundred each month, I should have saved at lease fifteen hundred. I did not dare to make a sound. Dad, I really was afraid to tell you, actually there are not even five hundred in my bank card, and I have to pay the rent – three hundred in couple of days. There are several bags of ramen on the table, and the only money I spent was the comic book “I am Bai Gu Jin” (我是白骨精) I bought the day before yesterday. Dad, for sure you are going to yell at me for spending too much money, but you know, I love to draw since when I was little, I really could not help but to buy this comic book.

Dad, I am sorry, I should not have lied. Last time mom asked me on the phone how much money I make a month. I told her three thousand and two hundred, out of thin air, but I actually only make one thousand. And I don’t work for a law firm; I am just helping out, doing odd jobs at a company. Then mom told me that you felt monthly salary of three thousand and two hundred is too low, said your construction job pays over one hundred a day. A college graduate like me should make five to six thousand. Dad, I am really sorry, for disappointing you, after so much schooling, spending so much money on school and still not better than you working at construction. Dad, I will work harder.

Some time ago you always asked me if I am going home for Chinese new year, I always said that I don’t know yet, if I have to work over time during the Spring Festival. Actually, Dad, my company does not have work during the Spring Festival, I really just do not dare to go home. I calculated, when I get my pay at the end of the year and after my rent, the ticket for going home is over four hundred, then I probably don’t even have enough money to buy mom a sweater. Dad, your son does not have the face to go home!

Mom called me and said you are stingier as you get older, always blaming me for not calling you at home. My mom and I lied to you, said your cell phone has problems, always not getting through. Couple days ago you suddenly called me with your cell phone, and told me that you spent three hundred yuan and switched to a new cell phone, the call will go through from now on. Dad, I am sorry, son lied to you, I never called you, it’s not that I don’t miss you, and not that your son is not filial, but your son is afraid that you ask about my income, afraid that you talk about money. Dad, is it snowing at home? You have to wear more cloths. It is getting cold at the south also, your son really wants to go home, really wants to sit by the fire as a family, talk and laugh.

Last month you called and said the next door neighbor Dake which is one year younger than me is getting married this winter. He is building a new house in the village, and will move in soon. I held the phone and did not know how to answer, just laughed stupidly. You asked me to bring my girlfriend home to let you meet her, I agreed and also told you that I will send some money home when I am not so busy. You were happy when you heard that, said home is not short of money and told me not to spend money where I shouldn’t, and to save my money. Dad actually I have been lying to you, my girl friend was long gone, we broke up right after I graduated. And the money, I still have not sent, not that your son doesn’t want to, it’s that your son really doesn’t have money.

Dad, really sorry, almost worked for a year still haven’t bought you some good cigarettes.

Dad, I wrote so much, but still do not dare to show you, posting in online but you will not see it. But your son really did not lie on purpose.

It’s already 2010, I really hope to make these lies come true in front of you by the end of this year, and say it to you righteously: Dad, I am sending the money home tomorrow!

6 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Fred says:

    Why I burned a sence of crying inside of my heart every time I read similary stroy? I just want to say,little cat? You as many out there no matter how tragic your situation are,you are the beloved son forever for your parents !

    Weather you have money or not,just go home for the celebration of new spring festival.

    Be sure to remember,no matter how tough life means to you,bear one thing in your mind”Where there is hope,there is joy of living”

    Most of the times,we should give our thanks to our solitude,for it taught us to be strong spiritually and steadfast to our dreams.

    Take anction,do not just dreamy. Don’t be afriad for I’ll be with you right here.

  2. rosati says:

    Your dad means the world to you, your is the dearest…please do so and visit, but keep in mind, do not let go of what you are goin for and do not stay home to do nothing, they(your parents) as yourself, will flourish more with your success, even if it takes a bit longer. I too wept a little inside reading this of my own memory and mistakes of the past. Its nostalgic. By the way, We think we know so much until we find out that we know to much of mothing or not enough of everything else. Your dad knows. That is strength.

  3. rosati says:

    Your dad means the world to you, your mom is the dearest…please do so and visit, but keep in mind, do not let go of what you are goin for and do not stay home to do nothing, they(your parents) as yourself, will flourish more with your success, even if it takes a bit longer. I too wept a little inside reading this of my own memory and mistakes of the past. Its nostalgic. By the way, We think we know so much until we find out that we know to much of mothing or not enough of everything else. Your dad knows. That is strength.

  4. Magnus says:

    What a great story. But so sad. This story really touched me so we made it into a comic strip. Thanks China Hush. You do a great job!! http://www.mandmx.com/2010/02/10/chinese-college-graduate-confession-letter-from-chinahush/

  5. xmq_jpm says:

    It’s the flippin’ 2nd generation rich and also the eight coallised powers:
    “dey’re takin our jooobs! du du duuuh!”

  6. construction jobs these days are on demand because the construction business is booming again’:`

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