If you want to find one job that is “endangered” in China as society develops rapidly, the train chef is one. Traditionally well-respected and highly skilled, the occupation is becoming less and less attractive to chefs nowadays.
Meng Haiping is one of those “endangered” train chiefs, cooking on the Beijing-Chengdu train. In his words, he “dedicates his time to thousands of railway passengers every day.”
“Railway trips nowadays are shorter than they were before,” said Meng, “I probably wouldn’t order food if I were a passenger since I only take the high-speed train for 3 hours or so.” Nevertheless, Meng still loves his job, even if “the business is shrinking”.
Cooking Chinese food on moving trains is, in his words, “the coolest job in the world!”