Henan migrant worker walks 40 km home from train station in heavy snow

He plans to use the money he saved on cab fare to buy his wife a new outfit for Chinese New Year

’Tis the season for heart-warming feats of staggering endurance. “Ice Boy” — the Yunnan eight-year-old who vaulted to national fame after walking 4.5 kilometers to school in negative 9 degree weather earlier this month — was just the tip of the iceberg, it seems.

Zhao Fangzi, a sixty-year-old migrant worker from Henan, walked 40 kilometers home on Friday after a blizzard shut down the buses running from Luoyang train station to the local environs. He was returning to his hometown for the holidays after a stint working construction in Shanghai.

While Ice Boy’s frigid trek inspired a flurry of donations to winter clothing drives for China’s rural youth, Zhao’s own intrepid journey was made in hopes of saving enough money to buy his wife new clothes. Rather than spend 200 yuan on a cab, or put himself up in a hotel for the night, Zhao opted to brave the snow and earmark that money for a holiday gift for his wife.

“Money doesn’t come easily,” he told local media. “I make about 2,000 yuan a month. If I don’t tighten my belt, I can’t save anything.”

Zhao said that his employer still owes him considerable backpay, which he will supposedly receive after the Chinese New Year holiday.

With work increasingly difficult to come by at his age, Zhao is planning to retire instead of returning to Shanghai. He was lugging all of his possessions with him through the snow, including an electric fan and a comforter.

“It’s not too cold,” he said. “The further I walk, the warmer I feel.”