Daily Drip

Food Delivery Driver Crowned Champion of CCTV’s “Chinese Poetry Competition”

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A food delivery driver from Hangzhou has been crowned champion of the third season of CCTV’s notoriously tough Chinese Poetry Competition show.

Lei Haiwei triumphed in the TV contest’s finale on Wednesday night, remaining calm and collected as he answered a series of difficult questions on ancient Chinese poetry.

According to a report on Sina (link in Chinese):

More than a decade ago, he didn’t have enough money to buy books. In order to read poetry, he would go to the bookstore and memorize poems, then return home and write them down from memory. In this way, he accumulated more than 800 poems.

These days as a busy worker, he reads ancient poetry when waiting for food to be prepared or when he has a moment to rest. Like most couriers, Lei Haiwei’s work is hard and he often has to deliver more than 50 meals in one day. While delivering food to others, he’s often hungry himself, but he rarely spends more than half an hour a day on eating and won’t spend more than 25RMB.

As China has embraced online shopping and food delivery, the number of couriers zipping around its cities on electric scooters has surged, as have traffic accidents as drivers battle against the clock to deliver items promptly. The drivers are often migrants from other cities, working long hours for little pay.

Lei was born in Hunan, but moved to Hangzhou a decade ago to find work. He lives in an 80 square meter apartment with several other delivery drivers and regularly works 10-hour days.

You can watch highlights from his remarkable victory below:

 

Photos: Sina.com

 

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Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.

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