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Shandong Mother Carries 40 Kilogram of Vegetables to Help her Son in Shanghai

On the morning of April 15th, I took the high-speed rail from Shandong and then transferred twice to Shanghai. It was 7 pm when I arrived at my son’s house.

Mother carries vegetables to help her son in Shanghai
Mother carries vegetables to help her son in Shanghai

When I came to Shanghai this time, I brought two large boxes and a cloth bag with seventy to 40 kilograms of ingredients, including vegetables, beef, chicken, cooked food, soy products, and more.

When I was packing my luggage, the ingredients were all over the floor, and my son also took a photo and sent it to a circle of friends. I didn’t expect so many people to like and comment.

Some people say yes, “Only a mother is good in the world”. This is true, parents are of course worried about their children. But I can’t afford more praise, after all, it’s what my family wants to eat.

Some people ask, why do you have to go to Shanghai? Some people are also concerned, how did you get here on the way? I’ll just say it.

Coming to Shanghai is not an impromptu intention, it is planned. In the past, I used to live at my son’s house. I also spent the Spring Festival this year in Shanghai, and I will stay in Shanghai for the next few years. The little grandson just turned half a year old and needs someone to take care of him. Especially after the lockdown is lifted, sons and daughters-in-law have to return to work, so I have to come and prepare to take care of their grandchildren in advance.

It was really hard to book tickets this time.

Our hometown is Tancheng County in the southernmost part of Shandong Province. The usual way of transportation to Shanghai is to take a bus, go to Linyi Airport to fly directly to Shanghai, or go south to a county-level city in northern Jiangsu and take a four-hour high-speed train directly to Shanghai.

But under the pandemic, these methods will not work at all. Buses and planes were stopped, and the Lu-Su junction was also closed. The feasible way is to take the high-speed rail in the province and find a way to transfer the high-speed rail to Shanghai.

At the beginning, I booked a ticket for April 5. At that time, it was said that this time was the time when Puxi was unblocked. I took the high-speed train from Linyi to Rizhao, and then from Rizhao to Shanghai. But a few days before departure, the bus from Rizhao to Shanghai was suspended.

The second route I chose was to take the high-speed rail from Linyi to Qufu, then transfer to Hefei, and then from Hefei to Shanghai. The road took a lot of detours and I had to transfer twice. But a few days before departure, I received a notice that the third journey was suspended.

The third shift that actually took place was Linyi to Rizhao, transfer to Xuzhou, and then transfer to Shanghai. It takes more than an hour to go to the high-speed rail station, and about 8 hours for the high-speed rail and transfer.

After I booked the ticket, I thought, if it is canceled again, I will take the logistics truck to Hangzhou, and then go from Hangzhou to Shanghai by high-speed rail. My cousin who runs a restaurant in the express service area also helped me contact a familiar driver in advance.

Mother carries vegetables to help her son in Shanghai
Mother carries vegetables to help her son in Shanghai

Then there’s the matter of getting things ready.

Although the area where my son is located is relatively late, the supplies are ok. With the help of community group purchases and some friends, there is no shortage of food and drink. But I don’t know when the pandemic will affect it. After all, it is inconvenient to purchase in Shanghai, so bringing more things makes me feel safer.

Meat is bought ahead of time, frozen in the freezer. For vegetables, buy them a day or two in advance.

My son was afraid that my luggage will be too heavy, so he told me just to bring some leafy vegetables. He told me that there is no shortage of vegetables in Shanghai now, but they are all durable vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions, and green leafy vegetables are hard to buy.

On the high-speed train at 8 o’clock that day, I went to the wholesale market at 4 in the morning and bought vegetables for dozens of dollars.

In the end, I bought nearly 10 kinds of leafy vegetables in the box, more than 20 kinds of vegetables in total, including seasonal vegetables such as toon, and 4 kilograms of apples.

In addition to buying it yourself, many relatives and friends also help. In fact, when they first knew that I was going to Shanghai, they persuaded me not to go, and even the apple sellers persuaded me not to go to Shanghai. But seeing that I had to go, they all started to help me prepare things.

My sister-in-law fried a big bag of dried tofu, my daughter’s in-laws bought some vegetables, and my brother-in-law helped to make the mutton into mature food…

Mother carries vegetables to help her son in Shanghai
Mother carries vegetables to help her son in Shanghai

The original plan was to add a large box and a handbag, and finally, there was an extra-large box. I used to bring a little more stuff when I traveled far, but this time I have to change trains and I have a lot of stuff, so I’m ready to move it a little bit.

At 5:30, my relatives drove me to set off. It took an hour and a half to reach Linyi High-speed Railway Station and take the 8:00 high-speed train. On the flat ground in the high-speed rail station, I hung a bag on my shoulders and dragged a box forward with one hand. The box was old and the pulley was not so easy to use. It was a little hard to pull.

The more troublesome thing is to get on the elevator, the elevator is hard to find, and the escalator is basically used. I just ship one box at a time, then walk down the ladder, and then carry another box up.

Not too strenuous, but time consuming. The transfer time at Rizhao High-speed Railway Station was originally reserved for 40 minutes, but the entire transfer time took 30 minutes.

There are also many kind people. At Linyi High-speed Railway Station, a station staff helped me drag a box from the ticket gate to the train. When I was transferring in Xuzhou, a young man helped me drag a box.

I took three shots of the vaccine myself, and I was not too afraid of the pandemic on this trip. What I worry about is that Shanghai will not be able to enter, I will be asked to return to my hometown, my hometown will not be able to receive it, and the fresh vegetables I bring will be spoiled, so then what should I do?

For safety, I still wore two layers of masks and disposable gloves during the whole process.

The trains from Xuzhou to Shanghai was full of people, and when we got to Suzhou, there were only a few people left in our carriages, and there were more Jingdong couriers who supported Shanghai in other carriages. I think these couriers who came to Shanghai to help are very brave. They are here to help others.

The facilities of Hongqiao Station are good, the elevator is also convenient, and there are taxis and buses with guaranteed operation. I took a taxi to my son’s house, and it was completely metered. When entering the community, you must hold a nucleic acid certificate and make an antigen on the spot.

When my son saw me, he was also very surprised. He knew that I would bring something, but he didn’t know that I had brought so much. When packing his luggage, he was even more startled when he saw that things were spread on the ground, and there were no prongs on the ground.

I’m just glad that I can bring so many things, and I hope the more the better. When reporting the safety of my relatives in my hometown, I kept showing them off. My nephew said that if it was him, he might have thrown the box away on the way.

So far, I have had four times of nucleic acid tests in Shanghai, all of which are negative.

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Nancy Huang
I'm a journalist in Shenzhen, China. I have been working in several news agencies in China since 2008.



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