The Rickshaw Report: The Best and Worst of 2015

For this week’s Rickshaw Report, we ask two Beijing Rickshaw drivers about their highs and lows of 2015.

1. What was the highlight of your year?
A.I had a Japanese customer this year. We chatted a lot about Chinese and Japanese culture and history. I realized that both our countries actually have a lot in common. The experience really opened my eyes.
B. A lot of my friends got married…and, of course, I had to spend a lot of money on their celebratory gifts. So much money down the drain!

2. What do you think of China’s role in the world during 2015?
A.I think China needs to make a greater effort to show the world that it can handle its country’s affairs with confidence.
B. During the 19th century, China was weak and was overpowered by Western nations as well as Japan. However, recently, we have seen China’s rise as it has developed into a more powerful world power. China calls itself a peaceful country, and its actions reflect this.

3. What was the best news story of 2015?
A. Too many to chose from. I am just happy that the area that I work in has become more calm and less crowded.
B. (In a grumpy voice) This year brought no good news.

4. And what was the worst story of 2015?
A. Well, on a smaller scale, the number of tourists in the area has dropped, meaning I have less customers now.
B. Of course, it’s the growing number of ISIS attacks and the worsening situation in the Middle East.

5. Who do you think emerged as the most influential person of the year?
A Jack Ma. He is a very successful business man, with a ‘special’ head (haha).
B. Uncle Xi (President Xi), of course.

6. What are your hopes for 2016?
A. I really hope that 2016 sees an improvement in Beijing’s air quality, and also more peaceful relations between countries. Of course, I would not mind earning a bit more cash too!
B. You know, I am just a simple guy, leading a simple life. I just want to drive my rickshaw everyday – apart from that, I do not have any major demands from 2016.