Zhang Tianyi cooks his hometown speciality mifen (rice noodles) at his noodle shop in Beijing's CBD area. Provided to China Daily
Zhang Tianyi passed up a career as a lawyer to run his own noodle shop in Beijing's central business district. Zheng Xin reports.
Zhang Tianyi graduated with a master's degree in law from Peking University, but instead of spending his days in a courtroom he prefers to sell rice noodles, a specialty from his hometown.
"How do you want your noodles?" Zhang asks a customer at his noodle shop in Beijing's World Financial Center, located in the central business district area.
Zhang, a native of Changde, Hunan province, scoops up some beef soup that has been simmering for hours and pours it into a bowl with freshly boiled rice noodles. He then adds some green onion and ground red pepper.
"Seeing the satisfied faces of the diners is simply beyond description," he said.
While most of his peers work at law firms, people's courts (a State organ), or are pursing further studies at renowned foreign universities, Zhang chose to open his own restaurant.
Some people have suggested that Zhang wasted his time at law school, given his career choice, but he disagrees. Zhang said that all jobs are created equal.
"One should get all the respect he is owed as long as he is dedicated in what he does, whether that's feeding people or upholding justice in court," he said.
As a college graduate turned noodle seller, Zhang's career path is an unusual one but it's not unprecedented.
In 2003, a graduate from Peking University named Lu Buxuan opted to sell pork for a living after failing in some jobs. In 2012, Hainan University graduate Sun Xia decided to become a butcher in Shanghai. Their career choices sparked heated debates nationwide.