January 13, 2018

"Frost Boy."


I found that via "‘Frost Boy’ in China Warms Up the Internet, and Stirs Poverty Debate" (NYT).

The boy Wang Fuman is 8 years old. The distance he walks to school is 2.8 miles ("through mountains and streams"), and the temperature cited in the film clip -9° centigrade is 16° Fahrenheit. Chilblains are a skin inflammation that clear up when the weather gets warmer.

42 comments:

David Hampton said...

and our "snowflakes" with the latest technology available on the Weather Channel are unprepared to take the bus to a school within walking distance. They then become a burden on parents who must deal with decisions about going to work or staying home and babysitting their children and possibly their friends children. How did Minnesota handle this situation and I wonder how the Muslims in the Twin Cities dealt with weather they have never read about in their home country?

David said...

Fuman and his older sister live with their grandmother, who is ill, his father, Wang Gangkui, said by telephone on Saturday. The children’s grandfather is in prison, he said.

Mr. Wang often works as a construction worker in Kunming, about 250 miles away from Fuman’s home in Ludian County. Fuman’s mother left the family two years ago, Mr. Wang said. He said he had to work far away because the family was heavily in debt.

“All the other villagers look down upon us,” he said.

Mr. Wang said he hoped for a brighter future for his children.

“I worry about them all the time,” he said. “I hope they both can make it to college and find a stable job.”

Fuman told the Chinese network CCTV that he hoped to go to a university in Beijing and become a police officer or a scientist.

“Even though I’m now an internet sensation,” he said, “I shouldn’t be proud.”


His father is not worrying about when to get him an iPhone. The kid is 8 years old and thinking about the future, while American kids think The Future is a video game.

Mac McConnell said...

On the Kansas City news this mourning they had a ceremony awarding a scholarship for the best essay on MLK Jr. and how he relates to the personal roadblocks of today. The winner didn't show up this mourning for the live shot, they were out too late last night.

This Chinese kid walks miles to school regardless of weather. We should take a collection to buy him a cheap hat and gloves.

RichardJohnson said...

From 3rd to 6th grade I walked the two miles to school. One morning I woke up, got dressed, ate my cereal, and decided I would rather walk to school than wait an hour for the bus. The path was slightly uphill, but on the side of the road, so nowhere near as arduous as that boy's path. When I walked in winter, I was dressed for the cold, unlike the Chinese boy, so temperatures below freezing weren't uncomfortable.

I recall seeing some YouTube videos on difficult walks to school in China, and sure enough, there they were. For example: Heart-breaking Cliff Ladder: the most dangerous school journey in "Cliff Village" in China

John said...

Uphill both ways?

Seriously, unless it is snowing I don't understand how the frost forms in his hair.

I grew up in Northern ny Adirondacks and never heard of this. Beard and mustache yes, from breath moisture. But hair?

I'm skeptical.

Unless we can blame it on global warming somehow

John Henry

AllenS said...

I used to walk 2.9 miles to and from school every day. And, it was uphill both ways!

mockturtle said...

Childhood obesity is unlikely to be an issue for these kids. Good for him! I'd love to buy him a warm hat and mittens.

Mac McConnell said...

I used to walk 2.9 miles to and from school every day. And, it was uphill both ways! We were so poor I got dirt for Christmas.

mockturtle said...

Seriously, unless it is snowing I don't understand how the frost forms in his hair.

Maybe he washed his hair before heading out.

Fernandistein said...

Poor little guy!

Mac McConnell said...

Mockturtle
Make sure they are very cheap hat and mittens, no logos. If they are too nice the hat and mittens will be absconded by a local party official or worse the kid will be shot for being a capitalist running dog.

MadisonMan said...

Meh.

16 degrees would feel warm to me. It's really all about what you acclimate to. Now, if you don't have sufficient cold-weather gear, that would be a problem. I wonder if the kid is actually cold though. 16 F here now would mean I see kids in shorts walking to West High.

Dad would drive us to school if it was below zero (F) and windy. Otherwise, a walk. I don't ever recall getting a ride.

mockturtle said...

As I went to public schools in the suburbs, I rode a school bus. With after school activities, I walked home unless my mother picked me up. It was about three miles.

Henry said...

Reminds me of the beautiful children's book Crow Boy by Taro Yashima.

Fernandistein said...

Twit: "It said 100thoughts yuan was donated to the boy's school, one corporate give off 144 warm–clothes and20 warming devices,[sic]"

That's 15 more warming devices than we have, including the car heaters.

Darrell said...

I used to paint the soles of my feet with rubber cement so that I could play basketball.

MrCharlie2 said...

So, buy the kid a hat.

Curious George said...

Poor lil frost boy.

William Chadwick said...

"Wang."

Johnny Sokko said...

How do you say cold shithole in Chinese?

Johnny Sokko said...

I believe he thought that "froster tips" literally meant "froster tips" as a hairstyle.

chickelit said...

I grew up in Wisconsin. Never rode a bus or got driven to school. I was the first one to go to college in my family. I used to cross-country ski 7 miles one way into Madison to classes. Frost would form on my scant facial hair. I dreamed of being a professor and had unique accomplishments. But when it came time to apply for positions, I was told "we need to hire a woman or a minority." Feel for me.

Sydney said...

My hair used to freeze on the walk to school in the winter. I was too proud to take the bus for some reason. I don't know how far it was, but thinking back on the distance it had to be over two miles. Sidewalks all the way so not so bad. Sometimes one of my aunts would pass me by on her way to way to work, do a reverse and make me get in her car, then yell at my mom later for letting me walk with frozen hair to school. I continued to walk, though. I guess my mom didn't think it was that big of a deal.

tcrosse said...

This wouldn't happen under Communism.

gspencer said...

Back in my day . . .

AllenS said...

You know what they say, Mac McConnell, when you get dirt for Christmas, make a mud pie. Can't do that with a lump of coal.

mockturtle said...

You know what they say, Mac McConnell, when you get dirt for Christmas, make a mud pie. Can't do that with a lump of coal.

But a lump of coal is fuel. Warming fuel. For a few seconds, maybe.

Birches said...

Walmart has hats and gloves for a dollar here. We really do have it good.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Poor thing is frozen.

American children have no idea about struggle.

Yancey Ward said...

Until I was 12, I just showered in the evening before going to bed. After that point, I started showering in morning before school, too. I stopped that practice at certain times when I moved to Chicago for graduate school after my hair froze solid one morning waiting for the El in sub-zero weather- my hat froze solid to my head.

FIDO said...

He is dipping his head in water. Kids do dumber things than that for attention, particularly when you are poor.

Levi Starks said...

I don’t understand how the children of the children of tha Mao revolution can treat their children this way.

Clyde said...

Wait a minute! I've been told by reliable experts, scientists they say, that just because it's been extremely cold here in the eastern U.S. this winter doesn't mean that there isn't global warming going on. I've been told by those reliable expert scientists that it's the warmest winter on record in the rest of the world. And now you tell me a little Chinese boy is cold? Deniers!

EDH said...

"I'm single again, but I never bothered to lose the Frost."

Darrell said...

People would care more if his name was Ho Lee Fuk.

madAsHell said...

My father-in-law tells the story of hiking through the knee deep snow, up the hill to the schoolhouse. After school, he had to hike back up the hill to get to his home in the hills around Tuxla Gutierrez.

Yancey Ward said...

I used to have to watch Monty Python on a broken radio:

Four Yorkshiremen

AllenS said...

I just started burning coal (anthracite) along with wood. Coal burns a long time. I'm impressed with it.

Tim at large said...

AllenS, I always wanted to try that to get the stove to burn overnight, but it seemed like the coal always went out once the wood burned up.

Tim at large said...

What used to impress me were the girls who would walk to elementary school in skirts, back in the sixties, even when temps were in single digits. Those saddle shoes were hot, too.

AllenS said...

Tim, that's what I'm finding out also. Tuesday was the first day that I tried it, but it's been so cold around here for such a long time, that I thought I'd try anything. I started out with almost 3 cords of wood in the basement and was using it up faster than normal. 40 pounds of coal (1-40 lb bag $7.56) lasted me 4 days, and today I added only 1 or 2 small pieces of wood at a time to try and burn off the rest of the coal in the stove. Life is a learning experience. -19ยบ right now and my propane furnace is running.

stlcdr said...

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.