BEIJING, Jan. 24 -- Sales of adult
diapers are booming as residents prepare themselves for long-haul journeys home
on crowded trains for Lunar New Year.
|Passengers line up to buy train tickets at
a ticket booth in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province January 10, 2005.
Many supermarkets in Foshan, a city in South China's Guangdong Province,
have reported an increase in sales of about 50 per cent.
The products, designed for incontinence, have been repositioned at
prominent places on shop shelves since the start of the peak travel season for
Spring Festival began on January 14, Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News
The number of train seats for people returning home for family reunions are
limited because of the huge demand in the period.
It means large numbers of passengers have to buy standing-only tickets and
have to jam into all corners of carriages, even in toilets.
This often makes it almost impossible for passengers to pass through and
reach the toilets and they are forced to go without relieving themselves for the
"In this period, a common train has to transit 2,000 passengers, with only
around 1,000 seating tickets," Zhang Dazhi, an officer of Guangzhou Railway
It is not just crowded conditions on the carriages themselves that people
have to contend with.
Before they can get home, some have to stand in queues for hours to buy
train tickets and also wait with thousands of other people at packed railway
stations for their trains.
Once on the tightly-packed carriages, some passengers have to stand for
long hours, with the journey time from Guangzhou to Beijing, for example, being
about 24 hours.
During the peak travel period last year, some passengers even became
deranged on their journeys because of the conditions and jumped out of the
"The deep-seated concept of a reunion with families for the Spring Festival
prompts people to repeat the journeys, even though they know clearly how
difficult the journeys are," Pan Hong, a psychologist in Guangzhou, told China
(Source: China Daily)