A man walked 34 days home to join his 70-year-old mother for the Lunar New Year celebrations after his money was stolen in a railway station, the Dahe Daily newspaper reported Tuesday.
Li Haitao, 30, a migrant worker from central China's Henan Province, walked more than 800 kilometers from Beijing to Zhengzhou between Feb. 3 to March 9 to spend the Spring Festival with his mother, said the newspaper.
It was surely too late as the Spring Festival, the most important occasion in China for family reunions, fell between Jan. 25 and Feb. 9.
Li found his 2,000 yuan (292 US dollars) in his pocket had been stolen before he paid for a ticket on Jan. 21 at the railway station of Baotou in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, where he worked as a welder, said the paper.
His identity card, electrician's certificate and mobile phone were also stolen. He called the police but the police did not catch the thief, reported Henan Business News, another major newspaper in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou.
Henan Business News reported the penniless man was then sent to a local rescue station. Li was given a ticket to Beijing on Feb. 1.
"I arrived in Beijing on Feb. 2. The police also sent me to the rescue station," he said. "But they only provide food and accommodation," it reported him as saying.
After staying in the rescue station for a day, Li chose to walk home, and picked up and sold empty mineral water bottles on the way in order to get money to eat. He slept during the day because it was too cold to sleep at night with only a blanket in the open air, reported Orient Today, another newspaper in the capital.
He arrived in the provincial capital Zhengzhou at 8 a.m. Monday morning when the police found the unkempt man with a pair of worn-out shoes, said Orient Today.
The police gave him the money to buy a ticket home. Coincidentally, he met a bus to Xinmi City and the driver game him a free ride after hearing his story, the newspaper reported.
(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2009)