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Entries in Couple (2)

Thursday
Oct252012

Chinese Newlyweds Cram into 50-Square-Foot Home

Courtesy Zhang Rui(BEIJING) -- A newlywed couple in China is proving that big love can come in small spaces.

With best wishes and tears of joy, Zhang Rui and his wife Little Pan recently said their vows at their wedding.  Then, they moved into their first home together.

But these lovebirds’ love nest in Guandong province is so small that by American standards it is closer to an actual nest than a new home.

The size of their newlywed home is only 50 square feet.  It is furnished with just a bed, a table and a small wardrobe.

In a country where many single women insist that to be eligible a bachelor must own his own home -- and the bigger the better -- this story of two lovebirds squeezed into such a small space went viral.  The groom is now considered one of the luckiest men in China.  His story has been one of the most popular on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, this week.

“Lovefreedom” tweets on Weibo: “It seems like true love does still exist. Their love was not dominated by material desires. That is the greatest love! I believe in love again!”

In the Chinese tradition, women usually move into the man’s family home after they get married.  A man is expected to own a house or an apartment if he has any hope of getting married.  But in the past few years, soaring real estate prices have created major frustration among Chinese bachelors.

Home prices in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai have doubled since 2009.  A typical 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment in the capital costs about $274,000.

As for Zhang Rui, he is as humble as his background.  When he was 14, he followed his migrant worker parents from Hubei province to Guangdong.  As a bachelor, he had no house, no car and no money.  It took a lot of effort for Zhang Rui to convince his parents-in-law to let Little Pan marry him.

The couple met at a factory where they both worked.  It was love at first sight.  He said she appeared “to be so kind and sweet.”

Before their wedding, they only had six dates.  Too poor to go to a restaurant, they spent the time taking walks and talking to one another.

Their little home is in the back of a clothing store run by Zhang Rui’s parents.  It is separated from the store by a few thin wooden splits.  Inside the room, there is a big picture of the couple over the bed and a few good-luck paper cutouts.  Each month, they earn roughly $500 between them.  With careful savings, they hope to buy their own, bigger home one day.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun172011

Photo: Kissing Couple at Vancouver Riots Goes Viral

Rich Lam/Getty Images(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) -- Just who were those two young lovers? And how did they get caught up in such a kiss, right there in the middle of the riots in Vancouver, British Columbia? There was anger and violence all around them -- the Vancouver Canucks had just lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of hockey's Stanley Cup finals.

The picture of them, by Vancouver freelance photographer Richard Lam, has gone viral on the Web. One headline called it "love among the ruins." Even the young man's father put up a Facebook post: "Hows that for making love not war!"

But they now say the story is not what people thought.

The lovers were identified as Scott Jones of Perth, Australia, and Alex Thomas, a recent graduate of the University of Guelph in Ontario.

"The riot police ran on top of us," said Jones in a telephone interview with ABC News. "They ran us over.

"We were knocked over, and I was just trying to calm her down, because as I'm sure you can imagine, she was somewhat distraught."

Jones said he remembered kissing Thomas, and was completely surprised by the photograph.

Brett Jones, Scott's father in Australia, said the couple was not hurt. "Alex is a little sore on the leg, but otherwise okay," he said.

Scott's mother, Megan Jones, was interviewed by Australia's Channel 9. "I knew it was him because he doesn't have a lot of clothes with him and he always puts on the same thing."

At the time of the interview, she had not reached Scott yet, and said she thought her son had been photographed in an amorous moment. "It is something he would do, that's our boy," she said. "He has always lived in his own world, he's special like that. He doesn't always connect with what going on around him."

Lam, the photographer, said he didn't think about the picture because there was such violence around him. Almost 150 people required hospital treatment and close to 100 were arrested in the riots that followed Wednesday night's game.

Police struggled to contain the crowd with tear gas as fires erupted in busy downtown intersections. Storefronts were smashed by looters grabbing everything in sight.

The city's mayor, Gregor Robertson, described the rioting hockey fans as "hooligans."

Meanwhile, the photograph of the young couple has spread worldwide -- even though the family now says Scott Jones was just trying to comfort Alex Thomas.

"He was certainly trying to look after her," said Brett Jones.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio