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INSP Advent Calendar: day six

Continue the countdown to Christmas with #INSPadvent! Every day until Christmas, we’ll have a message from a different street paper vendor. Come back tomorrow to open the next window.

Donate here to back INSP’s work supporting street papers and their vendors.

You-Fu, Hsieh, 80, Taipei, Taiwan

You Fu is now living in Wanhua District. He has been selling The Big Issue Taiwan since it was first published in 2010. He heard the news of vendor recruitment when he was having a meal in a church five years ago.

You Fu is a hard-working vendor indeed, selling street papers near National Taiwan University from 9am to 10.30pm every day. Due to the location, most of his customers are college students. He enjoys chatting with students a lot and has become friends with these young customers.

“Some of them even come back to visit me after graduation,” he says with a smile on his face. He’s used to remembering regular customers’ names and even analysing the results of his selling status in his personal notebook. “Looking at the form and statistics makes me feel satisfied,” he says, “and I know all my efforts will pay off.”

謝有福目前住在萬華區,在公館捷運站周遭販售雜誌。五年前,在教會用餐時,聽見大誌雜誌的招募訊息開啟了他的販售員生涯。謝有福伯伯是個非常勤奮的販售員,一大早便抵達臺灣大學附近的公館捷運站販售,一直到更深夜靜的十點半才結束販售。由於販售地點接近學校,因此購買雜誌的客人大多是學生。他非常樂於與學生交流,有時甚至與這些學生成為忘年之交。「他們有時候畢業之後還會回來找我聊天呢!」伯伯滿足的說。除了與客人聊天外,他習慣記憶熟客的名字,同時還會以紙筆在他個人的筆記本記錄下每一期雜誌的販售狀況,繪製成精美的圖表。

「看著這些圖表跟數據,我就覺得很滿足,」伯伯說,「這樣我才知道我的努力是不是有收穫的。」

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

I’ve never received any impressive Christmas presents. However, it’s quite interesting to discover the sales are a lot better during Christmas every year. People sometimes passed by and bought dozens of street papers! To me, buying more street papers can be regarded as the best Christmas present I’ve ever received.

我沒收過特別的聖誕節禮物。但是,每年聖誕節左右,雜誌好像都賣得特別好。有些人路過一次就買了十幾本。所以,對我而言,多買一些雜誌可能就是最棒的聖誕禮物吧。

How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?

There’s no special plan to spend Christmas this year. I don’t have the habit to celebrate Christmas, so I’m going to sell street paper as usual this year.

今年聖誕節……我一樣沒有什麼特別規劃。我沒有過聖誕節的習慣,所以今年應該還是跟過去一樣在街頭賣雜誌。

Do you have a special Christmas message for your customers?

Yes, I wear Christmas hat every Christmas to show my best wishes to all customers. Some customers will be curious asking why I am wearing Christmas hat. And I’ll reply simple greetings like “Merry Christmas” as a blessing for my customers.

每年聖誕節都會戴聖誕帽,所以有些客人就會很好奇來問我戴聖誕帽的原因。我通常會回應他們一些簡單的話,像是「聖誕快樂」,來表達我的祝福。

What is a traditional Christmas greeting in your language?

The traditional Christmas greeting is ‘Sheng Dan Kuai Le’ which means Merry Christmas in Chinese. It’s always quite cold during Christmas, so we’re also accustomed to telling each other to wear more clothes and take care of his/her health conditions. It is important to keep healthy.

我平常會說的,應該就是……聖誕快樂吧。還有,聖誕節的時候比較冷,所以我覺得要告訴大家要多穿衣服保暖,注意身體狀況。身體健康真的是件很重要的事情。

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