LIN XIAO PING: I grew up in a poor family, so when somebody else gained something, I would dream of getting it, too. When I was a child I often dreamed that I would have a better life than the others and that I would achieve everything the others had achieved.
Now I sometimes dream about having a car. To be able to have my own car, that’s really something I would like to achieve. But it’s difficult, we are only wage earners. I never dream about my family, but I do dream about things like having a car and driving my own car. And those are very happy dreams for me. In those dreams, I drive down broad streets, overtaking all the other cars. I feel bad when I’m driving behind somebody else, so I overtake everyone until there is nobody ahead of me.
I’ve been living here in Panyu City for six years, since 2003. I’m a jeweller. Business was going well a few years ago but now it’s going pretty bad. My salary used to be several thousand Yuan per month. Now, since October of last year, it has gone down to less than 2000 Yuan per month. But my family’s living expenses are quite high. We have two children who still go to school, and my wife doesn’t earn much money. Sometimes I have some extra earnings, then our income increases to two or three thousand Yuan per month. That’s sufficient to maintain our family. In this financial crisis, many people lost their jobs and many families are in trouble now. The worst thing is that our boss is also treating us badly. For example, he no longer pays us any bonus for overtime work, not even if we work until midnight. We only get the base salary and a little more for overtime. He doesn’t even pay us for working on weekends. That’s illegal according to the Labour Law. It’s considered exploitation. As far as I know, the law says that working time is about 100 hours, but we are supposed to work more than 200 hours. And he’s even cutting down on our vacations. I think that’s unfair. Our boss is too hard on us.