Burning the midnight market oil
By Globaltimes.cn-CFP, Published: 2016-10-27 09:58:46
A 77-year-old man surnamed Bi examines an onion at a market stall at 2:30 am. He is a frequent visitor and carries a sack of assorted vegetables on his bike to sell at his own stall every day. He said that his monthly 3,000-yuan ($443) retirement pension is not enough to cover the cost of his wife’s medicine on its own. Selling vegetables is a good way to relieve the financial burden, while also keeping him physically fit, Bi added.
Editor's Note:
At 2:00 am most of us are fast asleep, yet for vendors at the wholesale market in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, it is just the start of another busy day. Various kinds of vegetables, meat and food products are sold at the 60-mu (40,000 m2) market every day, offering customers fresh produce at low prices. Since its establishment in 1991, the market has become the only large-scale wholesale market in the city, offering a platform for hundreds of vendors to make a living. Photos: CFP

A 20-year-old boy surnamed Hu carries a large bundle of spring onions in his arms at 2:00 am on October 19. Hu began working as a vendor when he was just 8, and now runs a vegetable stall with his family.
A couple maneuvers a large basket of vegetables onto a truck. In the market, mom-and-pop stores are a common sight.
A 50-year-old meat vendor surnamed Guo opens her store at 2:00 am, and starts by dicing pork into small pieces. Guo said she is planning to retire over the coming years and go traveling with her family.
A seafood vendor (left), surnamed Yue, has a rest after moving his goods from the wharf to the market with his partner at around 2:30 am.
A 55-year-old porter surnamed Feng pulls his trailer behind him, hurrying back and forth between the different stalls. He works from midnight to noon every day, and has worked in the market for more than 10 years. Each load weighs hundreds of kilograms, and Feng can earn 6,000 yuan a month by making tens of transfers every day.
Li Aiying, a soy milk vendor, smiles in front of her stall while waiting for her first customer of the day at 2:30 am. She said she sells the hot drink at office buildings after finishing work at the market. Standing outside for more than 7 hours is all part of her daily routine, and Li is glad that she can make a living from her own hard work.
A worker transports goods in the market at 2:00 am.