For those heading home during the Spring Festival travel rush and taking the train from Hangzhou, consider giving yourself a pre-departure boost right at the station! It's not only free but also offers a chance to chat with a friendly team of barbers.
With an average age of 60 and above, the team has been stationed in the lobby of Hangzhoudong Railway Station since the first day of the Spring Festival travel rush, providing free haircuts to passengers heading home.
Locating these barbers in the vast waiting hall of the station is not difficult at all, as their orange vests are easily recognizable, allowing passengers to spot them as soon as they enter the station.
Getting a haircut is a straightforward process – if there appears to be an empty seat, confirm the spot isn't taken, and sit down. Li Jinsheng, the oldest and most experienced barber, even greets passengers proactively, saying, "Come, come, we offer free haircuts!"
The service is wildly popular. Almost as soon as one passenger finishes, the next one with a suitcase walks over to take their place. A man surnamed Yang, who is heading back to his hometown in Jinhua, initially observed from the side but later decided to give it a try. "I see so many people getting haircuts; your skills must be good!"
A notebook records the barbers' daily workload, as after each haircut, passengers are invited to leave their names and ages for documentation. The four barbers give an average of 80 haircuts each day, a significant number even for a conventional barbershop.
Wang Jianjie, leader of the team, noted that as the Spring Festival approaches, more people are getting haircuts, and during lunchtime, they have to take turns to grab a bite. "We're busy, but we can't delay people catching their trains."
The public service haircuts have been available since the first day of the Spring Festival travel rush and will continue until Feb 8, a day before the Chinese New Year's Eve, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily.
Despite feeling a bit tired after standing all day, the volunteers agree that seeing the joyful expressions and receiving words of gratitude from passengers are the most precious rewards.