The snow and ice melted, the earth was rejuvenated, and the green shoots re-emerged on the branches.
The salt miners in Gaoyou City woke up a long time ago. They came out of their homes or dormitories and went to the canteen in groups to get food. No matter how much the prices rose in Gaoyou, they could eat their fill with just two coins in the canteen. This was only the treatment reserved for salt miners.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
After breakfast, they went to work.
Gaoyou was originally very rich, but in Gaoyou it was not salt miners who were rich, nor common people, but salt supervisors and officials, as well as big wealthy families who colluded with officials and the merchants.
But now it is different. Salt miners could earn money by working hard. Whoever worked more would get more.
In the past, being a salt miner was a hard job, and it was only when people couldn’t survive that they came to be a salt miner, doing the hardest work, earning the least money, and unable to fill their stomachs no matter how desperately they worked.
But now who would have thought that in Gaoyou, there had been salt miners who once starved to death.
A salt miner who died of starvation was Sun Si’s father.
Sun Si, as the name suggested, was the fourth child in the family.
And the only one who survived.
His brothers and sisters either died of disease or starved to death, but he was the only one who had survived.
And now just his earnings alone could support his family, his old mother, his wife and children.
After the South Bodhisattva came, the life of the common people in Gaoyou changed for the better. He married a wife, and his wife had given birth to three children, two sons and one daughter. His fellow miners all said that he was lucky.
His mother and wife also got along well, every time he came home, he felt that such a life was like a dream.
Sometimes when he thought of the old days, he felt like it had all happened in his previous life.
The only regret was that his father was not able to hold on until the arrival of the South Bodhisattva, and now His Majesty the Emperor.
His mother had recuperated these past years, and now her health and bones have become much tougher. Now, when she had nothing to do, she would go pick wild vegetables or wild fruits in the mountains with her old girlfriends, make side dishes or jams and send them to restaurants, and also earn some pocket money.
Currently, the children still needed to be looked after, his wife and old mother took turns taking care of the children.
When Sun Si was working, a co-worker asked, “Sun Si, is your eldest child six years old yet?”
Sun Si put down the tool in his hand and said with a smile, “Yes, he has a strong physique.”
“Then will you send your kid to the government school?” The person who asked the question hesitated.
Sun Si said strangely: “Of course I will send him, I heard that if they study well, there will be a scholarship! I don’t ask him to score 1st place on the imperial examination and bring honor to the family, I just want him to learn a few words, and don’t be illiterate like me in the future.”
The co-worker sighed: “My eldest child is ten years old. In the past, he could already work with me.”
He was reluctant to part with this labor force.
It was Sun Si who persuaded him: “Think about it, now you want your son to work as a salt miner? The bosses won’t allow it anyway, didn’t you hear the team leader say they must be fourteen years old before they could work, otherwise it will be considered child labor. You will be fined.”
“Sending him to school, although he can’t earn money for the family, but if he can study well and get decent grades when he graduates, what is there to be afraid that he won’t find a good job? Maybe he will earn more in one month than half a year as a salt miner.”
The co-worker was very conflicted.
There were not many people in his family left, and his eldest son had finally grown up with no illness and no disaster until now, and he could now work and earn money.
Sent to school…..
It would be at least three years of study.
His son didn’t seem to be the type to be able to earn money for his family just by going to school.
Sun Si saw that he was unable to make up his mind, and said: “In the future, when everyone has gone to school and learned to read, but only your son is still illiterate, aren’t you afraid that he would not be able to find a wife and carry on the family line, especially as there are originally much fewer girls than boys?”
The co-worker then widened his eyes and said, “I should send him to school then.”
On the day when the school started, Sun Si took his eldest son to report at the gate of the school which was already crowded with people.
Because there were new textbooks this year, according to rumors this year they have started to implement simplified characters.
The common people did not understand what simplified characters were, but they only heard that it was easier to learn and easier to understand.
In the previous years, students still learned the previous characters, but the simplified characters and the previous characters were of the same origin, and it was easy to recognize them.
Sun Si first took his eldest son to register, reported his parents’ names, his home address, and his job. Then he went to find his eldest son’s class, which was first grade, class 5.
The teacher told him that there were a total of six grades, the first, second, and third grades, and then fourth, fifth, and sixth grades.
Generally, one could graduate after three years of study, and one could continue to study the higher grades if one’s family was willing.
After finishing the sixth year, those who want to take the imperial examinations could still go to university.
Sun Si looked at the beautiful new school building. There were many things he had never seen before in the school, and the children could play on it. He thanked the teacher gratefully, and then sent his son into the classroom.
When he left, he instructed his son: “Be obedient, study hard, and learn better skills than your father in the future.”
Although his eldest son was still young, he knew that he was the eldest son of the family and carried the responsibility on his shoulders since he was a child. He said to Sun Si, “I know, Dad, I will definitely study hard.”
“I can even teach my little brother and sister when I go back homr.”
Sun Si left in a hurry. He took a half-day leave and wanted to go back to work early.
He could earn two taels of silver a month because he worked hard enough and did a better job than other salt miners.
One of the two taels of silver would be spent on food and clothing at home, while the remaining tael would be saved. He planned to save for two years, then renovate his house and pay the housing management bureau so that he could add more rooms to his house.
The children were growing up fast, and they couldn’t continue to stay in the same room with him and his wife forever.
When the new rooms were built, he would have them move in.
Since the eldest began going to school, he would tell his younger brother and sister about his schooling in the school.
“My teacher said that if you study well, you will not be charged for textbooks in the future.” The eldest son said happily, “The teacher also praised my memory yesterday! I was elected as the class leader this afternoon, and all my classmates chose me!”
The younger brother and sister looked at their elder brother with admiration, and felt that his whole person had changed after he went to school.
The eldest son also said to Sun Si, “Dad, when I graduate, I will earn money to support the family, support you, mom, grandma, and my little brother and sister!”
Sun Si laughed at him: “Your dad is not old yet! I don’t need you to support us! Your younger siblings will also go to study in the future, maybe they will be even more promising than you, and you don’t need to support them!”
“When your dad and mom can’t work anymore, then you can support us.”
The child frowned: “Ai! Then when will you not be able to work anymore!”
Sun Si didn’t know whether to laugh or cry: “You little ruffian, whose dumb mouth did you take after?”
His wife was cooking on the stove and shouted, “Clearly from you.”
His mother also joined in the fun: “Your dad is just like you!”
Sun Si couldn’t win against so many, so he went out to chop firewood by himself. Although firewood was cheaper now, after living in poverty for a long time, he always felt that he could save a little bit more on things he could take care of himself. Only when the autumn was over would they spend money to buy firewood and coal.
The coal was burning in the house and it was very warm, but the windows must be open. His team leader would tell them every year that those who do not open the windows would be smoked to death.
The firewood was burned when cooking.
“Dinner is ready!” His wife brought the dishes to the main room, and the family sat around the wooden table.
The little child reached out to grab the steamed buns and said happily, “Mom! Why are there steamed buns today!”
This was made from white flour! Life was better now, but white flour was still expensive, and ordinary people were reluctant to buy it.
His wife smiled and said, “Your dad got his wages yesterday.”
Every time he got paid, they would have a good meal the next day. This was the unwritten rule in the Sun family.
When his wife brought out another plate of vegetables, the entire family was nearly drooling.
“Fat meat!” The little girl’s eyes couldn’t move away at all.
Fatty and greasy pork was very rare, and the fat meat at the meat stalls were the fastest to be bought.
Chicken, duck, and fish were all lean meat, but people still preferred fatty pork.
His wife said proudly: “I went to the market to wait before dawn this morning, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to buy such good fat meat.”
Her cooking skill was average, but the whole family gobbled it down as if it was the most delicious food ever.
Sun Si took a bite of the steamed bun and watched his little brats rush to grab the fat meat, his eyes full of smiles.
He, Sun Si, didn’t let his own kids go hungry, and he didn’t let his wife and mother starve either.
Although it was not a big achievement, he was already very content and satisfied.
“By the way, there is a daycare just opened on the street.” His wife told Sun Si before going to bed.
Sun Si also knew what a daycare was. Now, many families have both men and women working together to earn money. With no one to take care of the children, there was a need for daycares.
Parents would send their children to work before they go to work. There were women watching the kids there, taking care of their meals, and sometimes even giving out small snacks.
Parents would then pick up their children and take them home after work.
This kind of daycare was very strict, the door was always closed during the day, and security guards were hired——this was also a new occupation, and the wages were not low!
Those who had strong physiques were willing to go.
The merchants were very thorough, so don’t even mention human traffickers, even a fly had difficulty getting in.
But it was not cheap. One child would cost a string of coins a month, and two would cost two strings of coins.
Sun Si turned over and looked at his wife: “Do you want to go to work?”
His wife nodded: “San Ya doesn’t need to be breastfed anymore, isn’t there a knitting factory looking to hire? It’s close to home, I can come back every day, and I heard that if I can meet the standard, I will earn a tael of silver, and after meeting the standard, the rest will be commissions, up to 40 coins!”
Her eyes were bright: “The others only give 20 coins worth of commission, this one is 40 coins.”
Sun Si said strangely: “Why 40 coins?”
Wife: “Why else, they can’t recruit anyone.”
Sun Si suddenly realized, all the men were willing to work manual labor requiring strength, the more strength the more they earn. Few men were willing to work in the knitting factory. The job was a strain on the eyes and required nimble hands. Men who were willing to work there were originally attentive and nimble with their hands.
He heard that there was a rough guy who went to work in a knitting factory before, but he ended up tearing up two spools of threads. He didn’t make any money, and he even lost money.
Since then, men who felt that they didn’t have the talent stopped trying to work there lest they lose money.
“Then go.” Sun Si agreed very much, “Let’s make money together, maybe we’ll even save up all the money for building the house by the end of this year!”
His wife was also very happy: “Yes, we should save more. In the future, our two boys will marry a wife, and our girl will need a dowry. Money is needed everywhere!”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
It used to be a hardship to spend money.
Now it was not a hardship to spend money, because they could earn more.
As a result, the next day, his wife went to the knitting factory for an interview, and Sun Si’s mother also followed.
Then——his wife failed the interview, her hands were too clumsy.
His old mother got the job instead.
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