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Ticket clerk pulls out all the stops

From : China Daily

Qi Jun writes dwon the ID card number of Yang Shufang, a passenger who needs help with buying a ticket online or through the telephone ticket booking system. (China Daily/Huang Zhiling)

CHENGDU, Jan. 10, 2012 -- Yang Shufang could not help crying when she approached Qi Jun, an employee at the information desk in the ticket office of the Chengdu Railway Station in Southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday afternoon.

The 64-year-old had been in the station for about eight hours but could not get a ticket for Yanzhou, East China's Shandong province, where her son and daughter work.

"I live alone in Chengdu as my husband has died. I want to be reunited with my children," she said, wiping away tears.

The problem was that Yang, who had only attended primary school, did not know how to use the Internet or a telephone to book a ticket. Through those methods, passengers can buy tickets 12 days before they travel. But in the ticket office of the station, tickets are only available nine days ahead.

"In a word, they could only sell tickets that have not been sold online or by telephone," Qi said.