Vendor moments 2017: “At least the job makes me feel like a normal person”

Long-Zhu Li, 54, is a Big Issue Taiwan vendor, who has been selling the magazine since 2011. His pitch is located outside Dongmen metro station in Taipei. He became homeless owing to an occupational injury and his wife and two daughters left him afterwards. After living on the streets for several years, he joined The Big Issue Taiwan as a vendor, now renting a small apartment on his own.

The biggest moment of 2017 for me was when one of the Big Issue Taiwan team responsible for distribution left her job because of her marriage and career plan. I feel a bit sad because we’ve known each other for quite a long time. She treats me as if I was her family member and her age is just the same of my daughter’s age.

My biggest achievement was that I once sold more than 300+ magazines a day and that made me feel very excited and proud.

My selling amount has dropped 60% this year, so right now every day is just like a challenge for me. I kept thinking about how to solve this condition. Even though I stand under the scorching sun for such a long time, nothing has changed still. Despite this, nothing has really come as a surprise this past year.

I’m getting older and older now and I only hope for good health and stable selling.

To be frank, I didn’t obviously feel accomplishment in this position, but at least the job makes me feel like a normal person. I don’t have to sleep on the street and cover my face anymore.