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.”



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.


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.


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.


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.