Chapter 138: Every household have their own treasured baby egg 17
Jiang Jianjun dragged a large suitcase, while Jiang Liu and Jiang Shengnan both carried a backpack as they set out on the road on the second day after the New Year.
The nearest train station to them was located in the city. There were many more bus lines operating around the country, which was a good thing for people to travel. Hence, the three of them managed to arrive at their destination after only two bus transfers.
There is no such thing as purchasing tickets over the internet. All tickets must be purchased at a specific ticket counter. Furthermore, the train station at the current times was quite basic. The supposed ticket counter was located in the shed next to the train station. At first glance, there were six people currently queuing to buy the ticket at the counter.
The railway station and the long-distance bus station in Nianguan were the busiest places in the city. Many people were rushing home after the New Year holiday. Jiang Jianjun arranged their itinerary so that their group will arrive at the station half a day ahead of the train schedule. However, he has yet to purchase a train ticket for their destination, so they still need to wait for the train, which will arrive in the middle of the night.
“My big brother, my wife and children are still waiting for me to return home, but someone stole my wallet. I still lack two yuan for my ticket. If possible, could you spare me some changes?”
Jiang Jianjun was about to take his children out of the crowd when a flustered man stopped him.
That man seemed to be middle-aged. He adorned a thick padded jacket and an ushanka-type hat. His skin was dark, while his face was riddled with vicissitudes, as he appeared despondent to the people around him.
He currently has a handful of change totalling approximately fourteen or fifteen yuan. If it were for a long-distance journey, this amount of money would not be sufficient for him to purchase a ticket.
“Sorry. I don’t have any change.”
Jiang Jianjun clenched his fists around the two children, smiled at the man as he pushed his way through the crowd.
“I’ll give you the change I have.”
These days, there are many passionate people. Without thinking, a young girl wearing a red beret stood out in the crowd and took five yuan from her wallet: “Uncle, you may purchase a few buns with the leftover changes. Don’t get hungry on the road.”
Jiang Jianjun smiled and said nothing in response to the little girl’s behaviour.
The man wearing the Ushanka hat mumbled his thanks before he rushed into the crowd ignoring the young girl who had just helped him as though he was in a hurry to buy a ticket.
As an observer, Jiang Liu realised that this type of fraud already existed in the current era.
[T/N: I have personally experienced this before. Everyone, please be aware of this type of fraud. Oh well, bless him, may he changes for the better.]
Jiang Jianjun led the two children out of the crowded ticket counter and found a relatively empty spot at the corner of the shed for them to wait. He then untied the mattress on his back and spread it out on the ground.
“We’ll have to wait until midnight. So we will lie down and wait for a while.”
Jiang Jianjun untied the thick rope used to bind the quilt and hurriedly let the two children lie inside it. Many passengers also acted like Jiang Jianjun. Hence, almost all of the people in the waiting square also seemed to spread their bedding at first glance.
Jiang Jianjun and his children had left their home early in the morning, soon after they finished breakfast. Furthermore, it had been more than two hours since they arrived at the city railway station. The food that they consumed previously had already been digested. Jiang Jianjun took a few steps back and looked around. The smell of food kept pouring into his nose as he passed by a few small stalls next to the ticket booth while braving the hot smoke from it.
“I suppose there are tea eggs and steamed buns if you want something to eat.”
Jiang Jianjun didn’t want his precious son to go hungry. He looked at the items for sale by the small vendor and inquired his two children about what they wanted to eat.
“Two tea eggs, one meat bun.”
“I’ll have the same one as my brother.”
The two kids did not seem to mind what they have to eat. Hearing that, Jiang Jianjun quickly purchased a large quantity of food.
“I saw that they were also people selling the soy milk over there. If it is too cold, you can use it to warm your hands.”
Jiang Jianjun took a few bags of soymilk and handed them to the two kids. Jiang Jianjun could not help but smile when they saw Jiang Shengnan’s solemn expressions: “Why, do you recall what happened just now? Do you think your father is well-off, so why he could not give that old uncle a mere two yuan?”
How could an old fox like Jiang Jianjun be unable to guess the hidden thought of a little girl? He also wanted to use this occasion to teach the two kids something.
“Not at all.”
With a shake of her head, Jiang Shengnan expressed her opinion on the situation. After she became sensible, her family’s financial situation had already turned pretty good, but she was still not in the condition where she could spare some love to give to others. Even though her father managed to earn some money, but her cousins’ family is still struggling. Hence, if she had more money, she more willing to help her relatives than a stranger.
She just felt strange. It appeared as if her father despised that person immensely. She did not know if her gut feeling was correct or not, which explained her solemn expression.
“How about you, Xiao Bao?”
Jiang Jianjun looked at his son, who was mindlessly eating tea eggs. He was interested in seeing his son’s performance.
“I should be a liar if I guessed correctly.”
Jiang Liu took a bite of the tea egg yolk. The tea egg was overcooked, which made the yolk extremely dry. Jiang Liu took a sip of soymilk to help him swallowed the yolk smoothly, but the soymilk was too hot. Hence, he could only bare his teeth to dissipate the heat.
“How did you guess so?”
Jiang Jianjun was taken aback. He did not expect his son would notice right away that the other party was lying. Even he was taught the lesson after experiencing some loss.
At that, time Jiang Jianjun had just come out and made his first monetary transaction. He would be naturally enthusiastic with some money in his hands. A middle-aged woman at the train station then stopped him while he was trying to purchase a ticket. Similar to the previous man, that woman also told him a similar story. Jiang Jianjun was also a man who longed to see his children at home. Hence he could empathise with the other party’s feelings for not being able to afford a ticket with the money on her hand. Therefore, he gave that person two yuan without even thinking about it.
In the early 1980s, two yuan could buy you a lot of things!
Jiang Jianjun thought that he had done a good deed. Who knew that a few hours later, as Jiang Jianjun was about to board the train, he would saw the same woman beg for money from someone not far away, and the words from her mouth were precisely the same.
Jiang Jianjun finally realised that he had been duped at the time.
Jiang Jianjun knew how these people made money after spending so much time on the road.
Do not look down at the mere two yuan. When there were many people at the train station, they could secure at least 40 or 50 yuan per day. Even though the workers’ wages had been increased in recent years, it was only by one or two hundred yuan per month. The other party only needs to mix in the train station, and with thick enough skin, they would earn more than ten times their victims’ wages, making it a highly profitable endeavour.
Jiang Jianjun, on the other hand, was wary of these people after experiencing being duped by them. However, this is the first time his son went out of their village. So, how could he know that the other party was lying? Jiang Jianjun was curious about this.
“It’s very straightforward. He has fourteen or fifteen yuan in his hand before, but he said he was still short of two yuan to purchase a train ticket. That means that he needs to travel far away, right? However, since he needs to travel far from home, why did he not have any luggage or souvenir on his body?”
Jiang Liu gestured to the mattress they were sleeping on, the quilt they used to cover themselves, and their large and small luggage bags. They were not yet on their way home. They were going out for fun.
Jiang Liu then pointed to the other passengers in the train station’s square. Almost all of them were accompanied with big and small bags beside him as they watched the people around with vigilant eyes for fear of being stolen.
“Maybe it got stolen?”
Jiang Shengnan asked. Didn’t that person say that his wallet was stolen before? Maybe his wallet and luggage were put together, so there is not a single bag on him.
“That is even stranger. Third sister, if you go out to work or visit relatives and lose your luggage or got your wallet stolen by a thief, what would you do first?”
“I’ll go to the police to get my stuff back.”
Jiang Shengnan responded immediately. She could tell where the person’s problem was as soon as she spoke.
Ordinary people from ordinary families who lost their luggage and wallet at the train station will immediately report their loss to the police. They couldn’t create a sympathetic aura of poverty and desolation just for the sake of borrowing money from pedestrians to get home. This attitude itself was indeed out of the ordinary.
“Why are you so clever, Xiao Bao?”
Jiang Jianjun adored his brilliant son. He would make an excellent public security officer in the future because of his response and observation skills. At that time, even if this old father were arrested for speculation, his son would still be able to help his father out.
[T/N: Speculation: the act of buying products from another place and sold them to another location for profit. During Cultural Revolution Period (1966 – 1976) in China, business was considered an evil scheme/capitalism. People were encouraged to farm or work in the factory. Commodities such as watches, clothes, food, etc., could only be bought from government shops using the government’s ticket. Money could not be used unless in the black market. Nevertheless, some brave people will try to travel to other places, buy things, and sell them to the black market or individuals with tickets or money. It was also difficult for people to travel since they needed to procure letters from the authority before leaving their hometown.]
When Jiang Shengnan heard her younger brother’s analysis, she said nothing. Even though she was the elder sister, she was, in fact, not as patient or as bright as her younger brother. Hence, Jiang Shengnan promised herself that she would study harder and would not allow her younger brother to win over her.
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On the other hand, the old lady sighed as she thought she wouldn’t see her baby grandson for several days. She suddenly missed him so much. All she could do now was to find something to occupy her mind.
“Mom, don’t you think that the fifth girl is a little weird?”
Yao Huilan, who had nothing to do, was coaxing the two twins. However, after seeing Jiang Liunan, who had not cried in days, she could not help but turned to the old lady at the side and asked oddly.
Since the other party used to weep all day long, which was also quite irritating, it was also odd for a baby not to cry for so long. The fourth girl, on the other hand, was behaving a lot more normal.
Jiang Liunan, who reflected on the world’s changes at the moment, felt tense and realised that she had been behaving abnormally. Since the previous scare and fear of being rushed to his uncle’s house, Jiang Liunan had never cried again. This was clearly an odd case compared to other children.
Hence, Jiang Liunan cried out in fear.
His cry, however, was even stranger.
“It’s all right. Some kids are like that.”
For a long time, Pan Xiuluo stared at her little granddaughter. Seeing Jiang Liunan appeared a little nervous, Pan Xiuluo decided to say something good for her in the end.
Yao Huilan did not give it much thought. This was a child from her brother-in-law’s family, so it has nothing much to do with her. After all, the babies were in perfect health.
Her mind did not even stray in the direction of supernatural occurrences. As for Pan Xiuluo, this matter had been circling her mind. After all, she had previously felt this little granddaughter was a little evil-like.
Yet, Pan Xiuluo was no longer fear when she heard the other party crying.
This stupid thing, even if it is evil, it was still a silly evil thing.
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