Located at an average altitude of 4,127m and more than 400km from the nearest airport, Sac Dat (Sichuan, China) is completely different from the prosperous city, this place has its own character with unusual red houses. end.
Sac Dat is a district of the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province, China. Most of the people here live by raising cattle.
Sac Dat has long winters and almost no summers. This year is probably a rare warm year. On the windy steppe, it is surprising that there is also a service to order food via a phone application. About 10 minutes after placing the order, the tram appeared running in the meadow.
Take off the helmet, it’s a beautiful ethnic Tibetan girl. Her name is Giap Heat and a mother of two. Giap Heat has been a shipper for 4 years.
7 highland shippers and their charm come to the profession of traveling all over the road
Currently, Sac Dat has a total of 7 shippers. The price in the city is very high, because it is shipped from Chengdu and other places. Giap Nhiet said that the most ordered dishes by young people are milk tea and fresh cream of the brand Mixue Bingcheng, nomads often order mineral water and tourists appreciate Tibetan barbecue.
Giap Nhiet’s parents sell lamb fat at the flea market. This is also where she grew up.
Thermal Armor – female shipper in Sac Dat
“When I was a child, this district town was very poor and had only small houses.” Giap Nhiet recalls that in the winter, the countryside often has no electricity, the villagers have to live on heating and cooking by burning fire.
The roads in the urban area are full of potholes, and on rainy days, they are always covered with mud. The road has no lights, the night is pitch black, after winter the wolves will come down the mountain to feed. Giap Nhiet said that she had to turn on the headlights and horns to scare away the wolves, until the wolves ran out of the city and disappeared into the street. Many young people who finished secondary school could not find a job, so they stayed at home tending cows and farming.
Sac Dat is located in a remote area with high altitude, the lowest temperature in winter can reach minus 30°C, the natural environment is relatively harsh, various conditions will certainly limit the growth of the plant. development of the district.
With the improvement of roads in Sac Dat, the local tourism industry has developed, boosting the economy and job opportunities. In 2018, Giap Thermal discovered that Meituan Food Delivery was recruiting drivers. She doesn’t know much about this emerging profession, but her family’s finances are tight. To change the status quo, she decided to give it a try.
Ultraviolet rays on the plateau are very strong, the skin of people who have lived here for a long time is often dark. These seven shippers are all Tibetan, the oldest is 35 years old named Nhan Chan Ong Tu, tall and healthy, the youngest named Tung Duc is a bit shorter.
The shippers are relatively young and have little work experience. Giap Nhiet only worked as a waiter in a restaurant for 2 months, with a salary of 2,000-3,000 yuan (more than 6.9-10 million VND), then helped his parents sell lamb fat at the market. After finishing secondary school, Tung Duc only stayed at home to help with farm work and build houses.
Nhan Chan Ong Tu worked as a cement porter in Ly Duong (Sichuan) for 3 years. Hard work but earns money. In 2019, Nhan Chan Ong Tu came to Sac Dat and saw a shipper operating here. Heard this job is not hard and high income so he signed up. At first, he only planned to deliver food for half a year, and return to the construction site next summer.
The shipper Da Cat Trach Nhan used to be a young cowherd. Before working as a shipper, he helped his family herd cattle with friends in the village. Da Ji Zeren said that he went to Chengdu and Hangzhou to work, but only stayed for more than 10 months. The pace of life in big cities is fast, the work on the assembly line in the factory becomes more and more boring, he misses the days in the steppe, and finally decides to return.
Talking about his job as a shipper, Da Cat Trach Nhan feels that he finds some common ground with his former herding life. Like looking up at spring on the plateau, feeling the free wind, delivering food on the grassland, walking with yaks…
Where the windy plateau has the warmth of human love
Roaming through alleyways, meadows every day, Giap Heat and other shippers witnessed the changes of this estranged Sac Dat land.
Giap Nhiet says hospitals, town halls and museums have all been rebuilt. They used to be little wooden houses. The present is different, tourists increase and more and more hotels are built. For high-rated hotels, room rates can go up to thousands of yuan during peak tourist season.
When the takeout store first opened, there were only a few online sellers and locals who weren’t used to taking away. The Dalai Lama opens a Tibetan barbecue restaurant. Once a tourist came to eat and asked him: “Is there any takeaway food from Meituan here?”. He asked again: “What’s the takeaway?”
Over time, Tibetan restaurants also gradually offer online ordering. Duc Dan Tac Nhuong has been herding cattle since childhood, not knowing much about modern technology. The city manager helped him download the software and taught him how to take orders. Currently, he has put on the application more than 60 types of grilled meat for customers to choose from.
Business in the store is booming. When there are many tourists, there are at least hundreds of orders per month. Duc Dan Tac Nhuong used to be a Tibetan singer but his income was precarious, he opened a shop here hoping his wife would have a more stable life.
Herders are also used to ordering food through an app, such as mineral water in a supermarket. In the rainy season, the water in the grasslands is cloudy and dirty, so the demand for bottled water in supermarkets is relatively high.
Also in July-August, local people often go out with their families, or invite relatives and friends and then set up a white tent on the grassland, staying for 10 and a half days. They like to order food through the app, mainly barbecue and beer. The whole family eats barbecue and drinks water on the lawn, and then dances together.
The short days in Sac Dat, except for the lack of oxygen, the comfortable life is not much different from the big city. Giap Thermal feels that the difference between cities is not only in physical facilities but also in the relationship between people.
Sac Dat has a long winter. In early October, the small town entered winter. Thermal Armor said that at the coldest time, when walking on the road, even the eyelashes are frozen.
To avoid the cold, the shipper wears thick clothes, inside also wearing three or four cotton clothes, sometimes thick Tibetan robes, and chains are tied to the wheels to prevent slipping when the road is frozen .
Giap Nhiet laughed and shared about a time when she ran a car slippery and then lightly crashed into a car. The owner of the car gently waved her hand to tell her it was okay and let her continue to deliver. She felt grateful and warmed by the simplicity and kindness of the small town residents.
Giap Nhiet tells about the most impressive delivery. The customer is an old woman who lives alone, her children are far away ordering to her house. When the food was brought in, the old lady asked Cao Nhiet to come into the house and let her warm her body with a cup of steaming hot butter tea.
Sac Dat is located in the south of the Tibetan Plateau and the oxygen content is only 60% of that of the plain. The vegetation withers in winter, it is difficult for tourists to adapt to the local climate.
It is common for shippers to help tourists suffering from lack of oxygen. For example, when tourists are uncomfortable staying in a hotel, they ask the shipper to help buy an oxygen tank and order food online; Or buy a few packs of medicine to relieve the symptoms of hypoxia. The shipper never refused.
Nhan Chan Ong Tu once saw a tourist collapsed on the side of the road because of lack of oxygen, the wife did not know what to do, the small child was crying. There was an order at that time, but he still drove guests into the hotel and bought them free oxygen tanks.
Since there are only 7 shippers, the relationship between them and the restaurant is closer than in the big cities.
Duc Dan Tac Nhuong’s barbecue restaurant became a gathering place for 7 shippers. Duc Dan Tac Nhuong gave them free phone chargers and electric cars, and also turned on the heaters to keep them warm on a winter day. The restaurant has only one person, when the order is too much, the shipper will also help with packing and shipping.
In the days of low orders, the shippers also like to play basketball. When it comes to basketball, the faces of the shippers are full of pride.
“Being a highland shipper is extreme but it gives us a better life”
Work hard to earn money, buy houses and cars. Struggling in a tired material dream is a portrait of the life of urban workers.
Giap Heat has been a shipper for 4 years, Nhan Chan Ong Tu has also been around for 3 years. When asked how much money they had saved, no one gave an exact figure. After asking carefully, the average monthly income of the shippers here is 6,000-8,000 yuan (more than 20-27 million dong), but they only keep 1,000-2,000 yuan (more than 3.5-7 million dong) to Use every day, the rest give to parents.
Da Cat Trach Nhan has 5 siblings, he is the eldest son, his sister just entered high school this year. He said that his sister was the best educated child in the family, she was among the best students in her class since childhood, her bedroom was plastered with certificates of merit. The money he earns not only supports the family’s expenses but also takes care of his sister’s educational journey.
During the busy farming season, Da Cat Trach Nhan took a leave of absence to return to the village to help his family harvest barley.
Da Cat Trach Nhan is considered the shipper with the most orders, the highest monthly income of more than 10,000 yuan (more than 34 million dong). His wife is also in Sac Dat, both brothers and sisters have gone to work, only mother and sister live in the countryside.
Dang Tu is an exception. Dang Tu is a part-time shipper and still attends school normally. In his first salary month, he paid the tuition; In the second month, he bought himself a very nice Tibetan robe.
Dang Tu, the boy who studied and worked as a shipper
In early September, Dang Tu finished his part-time job, after returning to school, he worked as an intern teacher at an elementary school. Talking about this experience, what he remembers the most is the time when his teacher ordered food through the app. That is 30 cups of milk tea given to students in the class. He felt that her actions warmed the hearts of many students.
Dang Tu also considered returning to Sac Dat after graduating to work as a bilingual teacher at a primary school in the Tibet area. As the years went by, this small town on the plateau became more and more focused on education. Giap Nhiet is a mother of two, she also plans to leave her job in a few years when the children enter primary school and tutor them.
Now, Nhan Chan Ong Tu is the only shipper among 7 people who have bought a house in the city, with an old car and will drive home for the New Year.
When asked: “In your eyes, is having a house and a car a success?”. Nhan Chan Ong Tu replied: “No, it is honest”.
Source: The Paper