A Shenzhen-based author has published an account of the time he drove across China in 100 days supporting himself by borrowing money from strangers and handing them IOUs. The author, Liu Meisong, used a total of 222 IOUs as he drove as far south as Sanya, as far west as Urumqi, as far north as Shanhaiguan, and as far east as Mohe County in Heilongjiang in 2010, Jiangxi Television reports.
It started when Liu was having an unsuccessful business trip to Guangzhou in August 2010. Feeling impulsive, he decided to go to Haikou that night. He acquired the 452 yuan he spent on ferry tickets by borrowing money from strangers. He had to wait 15 hours to acquire all the money which was the longest he had to wait during his whole trip.
He decided he enjoyed living like this and vowed to drive across the country without begging (he paid the money back later), working, or accepting sponsorship. He prepared hundreds of IOUs with a photocopy of his I.D card and his contact information to cover the cost of tolls, fuel, accommodation and other expenses.
He lost 10 kg on his travels as he lived primarily off instant noodles. It was a hugely stressful experience and he had all kinds of rejection along the way. Even his close friends questioned his sanity.
However, 10 of the people who lent him money were at the launch of the book in Shenzhen last week, which is a happy ending of sorts.
Liu says that if the book is successful, he will donate the proceeds to a good cause.