Beijing just experienced its coldest week in 30 years, but in spite of the weather the intrepid citizens of Beijing carried on hustling.
Braving the snow and sleet, laborers from the countryside working manual jobs or managing stalls out on the street, have braved the harsh conditions to make a living in the capital.
23-year-old Liu makes his living selling cotton clothes outside of Sihui Station. A proud small business owner, Liu has seen an uptick in sales recently due to the cold weather.
In Chaoyang District, 27-year-old Wang Kai eats dinner. Wang gets by as a delivery man and earns about 3000 yuan a month.
Farmers huddle for warmth by the fire. In Beijing, you can often find clusters of laborers from all corners working odd jobs. Hailing from Xian, Guo was tricked into a low-paying security guard job. Working odd jobs, his greatest fear is being cheated out of his hard earned salary by his boss.
In the vicinity of Beijing’s South Station, migrants from outlying areas of the country have arrived to appeal for help from authorities in Beijing. To ward off the cold, the people here are swaddled in thick bundles of clothes.
Outside of Shuangqiao Station, 27 year old Hu Quanhai hands out flyers on the street. Hu left his hometown in Hebei for Beijing four years ago to work a security guard job, but quit because his living conditions were too poor.
He at first turned to selling stinky tofu on the streets, but Chengguan soon forced him to give that up too. At his current job he pulls in about 2000 yuan a month, just enough to live off in Beijing.
In Chaoyang district, workers use fire to thaw a frozen water pump. Five years prior, 30 year old Shi Wangjun and his friends left their hometown in Hubei and found employment doing construction work on a bridge.
They pull in about 4000 yuan a month, a meager income by middle class standards but likely much better than what they could have found back home.
Yang Nushi left her home in Shanxi four years ago and now makes a living selling general goods. While happy to be running her own small business, she says that sales this year have been lackluster.
20-year-old Huanglei does not let the cold stop her from helping her older brother sell apples. The work is humble, but it provides a steady source of income.
Sun Liang makes his living selling fruit on the side of the road. Because of the extreme temperatures, Sun has been forced to wrap his fruit up in blankets to stop them from being damaged by the cold. Sun and his parents left their hometown of Hefei eight year ago and have been able to sustain their fruit business over the years.
Outside of Jing Song Station, pedestrians make their way through the cold.
To ward off the elements, pedestrians have wrapped their heads to keep warm.
43-year-old Guo left Jilin with several friends last year and now works on a construction site.
Shivering groups of people wait for a bus. 37-year-old Geng makes a living working at car wash. With temperatures at an all time low, Geng has elected to stay indoors today.
A family of three awaits a bus outside of South Village Station. 35-year-old Wang Feng left his home in Shandong to work in a warehouse. He found his wife in Beijing and now the two live happily together.
A crowd of migrants have just finished their meal and hurry back to their work at a nearby construction site.
Zhu makes a living in the capital selling sweets. Business at night is typically the best, so in spite of the cold he continues to set up shop, pulling six hour shifts in the freezing cold.
A security guard at a Sanlitun parking lot carries on with his work despite the cold.
Customers rushing to catch their ride after shopping at the Yonghui Supermarket in Chaoyang District.
35-year-old Wang Nushi makes a living selling fried kebabs by the roadside. Although the job does not pay well, she has to contend with putting her daughter through kindergarden and has been unable to find other work.
Wang makes a living selling specialty goods from his hometown. In order to pay for his child’s tuition, Mr. Wang moved to Beijing where he enjoys better prospects.
50-year-old Da Bo passes the day selling roasted peanuts.
In Changping District, pedestrians make use of military overcoats to keep warm.
By Stanley Yu