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China: Around The Nation

Broke Chinese foodie gives up home and family, cycling 600km in pursuit of famed stewed noodles

Man spends half a year sleeping rough and collecting scraps to live in Henan town known for the special dish

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 12:19pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 2:16pm

A man in eastern China who was keen to taste a famous type of noodle spent a week cycling to the central province of Henan, where he has since spent half a year living under an overpass.

The man, who was identified only by his surname Zhu, travelled to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan from his hometown, a village in the eastern Jiangsu province more than 600km away, by bike. He covered his travel expenses by collecting scraps, mainland news website Eastday.com reported.

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Zhu, 40, told the news portal that he had wanted to go to Zhengzhou because he once watched a television programme about how delicious the local stewed noodles were. The traditional dish features hand-pulled noodles and is often served with beef or mutton.

His parents refused to support his venture and since he had no money he decided to travel to the city by bike.

He has now settled down under a flyover in Zhengzhou with a shabby sofa, a pink bike and several bags full of plastic bottles. The report did not say when Zhu arrived Zhengzhou, but local residents said he had lived there for more than six months.

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“After I arrived there and tasted the stewed noodles, I thought Zhengzhou was a good place and will try to stay here until I’ve had enough,” he said, “Now I live on collecting bottles. ”

“Zhengzhou is so beautiful,” he said, “especially at night, everywhere is gleaming with lights.”

Zhu usually gathers plastic bottles before exchanging them for food and sometimes cooks for himself under the bridge, local residents said. It was not clear whether his parents knew about his situation.