Explosive red Su Min, the persona of turning over the car

On September 24, 2020, 56-year-old Su Min drove the white car she bought with a loan, said goodbye to her family and escaped the walled city of marriage.

She had suffered from the same anxiety and dilemma as most middle-aged women, dissipating herself in the daily chores of the family.

But this time, she chose to take a break, using a self-driving trip to complete a female mid-life crisis breakout. Later, she became popular, appearing in the advertising campaign of a luxury e-commerce company and being featured in the New York Times, being given the label of “feminist” and “freedom”.

Today, Su Min is still on the road.

With the steering wheel in her hand, she passes through tunnels with flashes of light and shadow. To others, the 57-year-old Su Min has a face similar to that of most mothers.

She is not tall, just over 1.5 meters tall, her hair is always tied in a ponytail, and the hair in front of her forehead is curled randomly. Her arms have sun-left “dividing lines”, vaguely visible age spots, a lot of calluses on both hands.

When she smiles, it makes people feel friendly. When she doesn’t smile, she carries a bit of stoicism. Now, she has more confidence and cheerfulness on her face. Su Min’s story was first reported by major media and became one of the top ten female figures in the media’s annual roundup. On April 2, she was featured in the New York Times with the headline “feminist icon” and many people left comments.

She was seen by netizens as a new generation of “female awakening”. However, Su Min did not realize that her departure had “feminist” connotations.

In a program, the writer-director dragged So Min to watch “Kim Ji-young, Born in ’82”. Talking about her feelings about the film, which focuses on the plight of women in Korean society, So Min gave a surprising answer.

She thinks the main character, Kim Ji-young, has no sense of responsibility. “I don’t like this character of this female, it’s a bit contrived.” Su Min believes that the maternal status of “grandmother”, “mother” and “wife” is not a label, but a responsibility given by the society. In Su Min’s accepted concept, work is a mother’s share of responsibility.

“As a wife, it’s your job to take care of the family, clean the house, do the laundry and cook the meals. If I see these as labels, then I can not do it according to that label, but is it possible not to do it? It’s not possible. It’s a responsibility given to you by society, and women can’t tear off these labels.” That’s how she explained it to Most People.

In a later interview with the media, she advised young mothers in their 20s not to follow her example of running away.

Because her freedom was built on the completion of all her motherly duties. She took care of her home, watched her daughter find a home, and took care of her two grandchildren all the way to kindergarten before she set out to find herself.

All of this has made netizens feel that the “persona is overturned”.

With questions, not long ago, “the most people” interviewed Su Min and her daughter, also tried to contact Su Min’s husband, Lao Du. According to Su Min’s son-in-law, Lao Du refused to accept any interview.

In these conversations, we see a multi-dimensional Su Min.


It is the story of a woman who belonged to the 1960s, and a Chinese woman. Perhaps, it is also the story of many women on this planet. 2019, the idea of self-driving tour, suddenly appeared in Su Min’s mind.

That inspiration came like this. On the internet, she saw a video: a post-divorce travel blogger, going out on her own, using live streaming and short videos to keep up with the expenses on the road.

Sensitive to some surprise, she found a way out of the “tunnel”.

She understands life as a long tunnel with no light in sight. In the tunnel, people live like an old cow that has been hammered.

Su Min carefully guarded an acre of land and took care of her family. Outside, she is the wife of Lao Du, the mother of Du Wei (a pseudonym), and the grandmother of twins. At home, she is a “free nanny”, laundry, cooking, household chores, the days are somewhat depressing.

Life is like a gyroscope, talking about the first half of life, Su Min feel that the days passed in a hurry. Su Min’s chest has a knife scar. According to her, it was left after a heated argument with her husband.

That day, her daughter’s in-laws came home to take care of her grandchildren, and she and her husband moved back to their own home, and she went over to help with the housework during the day. After returning home, her husband asked her, “His parents are here, and you still go, what do you really think?” Su Min was annoyed and couldn’t resist arguing, but she couldn’t talk to her husband, so she could only explain repeatedly, “What can I think, I don’t think anything.”

Angry to the peak, she picked up the knife on the table and cut twice on her arm, blood gushed out, her husband froze, afraid of being hurt by mistake, did not dare to approach. Su Min then thrust the knife into the chest, the husband then grabbed the knife and sent her to the hospital.

A check found that she was suffering from moderate depression. Later in an interview, the reporter asked Su Min “then the idea”, she was stunned, and then emotions became emotional.

In Su Min’s family, “having ideas” is a stigma. Whenever the family could not find money or valuable objects, her husband would say that Su Min’s third brother had stolen them, or questioned whether Su Min had taken them to her mother’s house, “Do you have any idea”. The more she argued, the more accusations she would incur. She thought she had never gained her husband’s trust. She couldn’t figure out why she was being second-guessed even when she worked, and her life became more and more gloomy.

This time, she was finally going to run away from it all.

Su Min’s plan was not made in secret. Her departure time and preparation plans were openly and honestly discussed at the dinner table. However, her husband did not make any comments, and there seemed to be a barrier separating the two at the dinner table.

Su Min had grown accustomed to this lack of communication.

She also spent 199 yuan to buy a self-publishing tutorial to learn filming and editing, and when her family was away, she secretly recorded videos of making chili sauce and stir-frying vegetables to earn some meager bounty.

She followed the example of the bloggers on the shutterbugs and called her fans “family”: “Thank you my family, thank you for your support!”

It was the day of departure.

Su Min, 56, did not see her husband when she woke up. She and her husband live in her daughter’s house, a bunk bed she lives on the top bunk, her husband lives on the bottom bunk, he used to go out for a walk at five o’clock in the morning, and never said goodbye to Su Min. This time, Su Min had to say goodbye to him. At this time, it was their 33rd year of marriage.

The son-in-law put on his shoes and said goodbye to his family in front of the house. The daughter sent her two children to kindergarten and returned home to go to a regular breakfast restaurant with Su Min.

Everything was as usual. After returning home, Su Min began to carry the luggage to the car alone, constantly going back and forth between the room and the underground parking lot.

Later, when her daughter Du Wei remembered this moment, there were no waves in her heart; she felt that her mother was completing an imperative departure. Du Wei was only worried that her father’s words had affected her mother’s mood. Su Min reassured her daughter, how she had to earn back the money for the equipment.

“I’m leaving.” Su Min said goodbye to her daughter, then rolled up the car window and drove out of the neighborhood.

September 24, 2020, the eighth day of the eighth month. The calendar reads: seven do not go out, eight do not go home.

Su Min thought, today is really a good day to go away.

The trip that you say you’re going to take is really happening to this middle-aged woman. She set off, the moment she stepped on the gas, the new life then opened the curtain. However, everything behind, full of unknown. Su Min driving on the highway Su Min’s trip is full of fireworks.


Her trunk is loaded with a small travel stove, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar, a small electric rice cooker. Everywhere she goes, she sets up a small table, steams a pot of rice and makes a few home-cooked dishes. She is good at making cabbage with vinegar, eggplant and meat in a pot, and the dish should be spicy enough to enhance the flavor.

Since the age of 12, Su Min has been able to make a table of delicious dishes.

Su Min cooking on a trip

She grew up in a mountain valley in Chamdo, Tibet. Her mother suffered from plateau heart disease and was hospitalized all the time, so the burden of taking care of her three younger brothers fell on her as the eldest sister.

After living in school in secondary school, Su Min got rid of these physical tasks. A month before the college entrance exam, her parents and brother moved back to Henan, and she was left alone in Tibet to prepare for the exam.

Su Min grew up as an obedient child in the family, she originally wanted to take secondary school, but still obeyed her parents’ orders to read high school for college.

The high school entrance examination failed, Su Min took the train, through one tunnel after another, from Tibet to Henan. The journey was long, and Su Min only felt that time flew by, and her heart was all longing for the future.

Su Min’s photo when she was young

Su Min worked in a fertilizer factory in Henan, and was matched with Lao Du through a matchmaker. Her parents felt that Lao Du was a bit stingy, but Su Min was very determined, she only wanted to start a new life quickly.

“Only met three times, are not considered to know, which then there is free love.” In Su Min’s impression, that is a man with big eyes, not short, in the city has a formal unit of work.

After marriage, the two separated. Until the fertilizer plant closed down, Su Min took her 2-year-old daughter to Zhengzhou to reunite with her husband and become a full-time housewife.

Old Du will give Su Min 500 yuan a month for living expenses, to the next month, he has to Su Min to calculate the previous month’s spending to go.

Su Min could not stand to ask for money and decided to go out to work.

From then on, earning money became an important issue in Su Min’s life. She has swept the roads, worked as a tailor, sold dumplings at the roadside stall, and worked as a supermarket promoter. In order to take care of her daughter, she delivered newspapers for 10 years.

In the morning, she puts the newspaper in the basket of her bicycle and her daughter in the back seat, and takes her daughter to school first, then delivers the newspaper to each house. The rest of the time to go grocery shopping and come home to make a good meal.

Su Min’s tenacity and defiance showed in her work. Delivering newspapers, she was awarded as an advanced employee, and selling cookies and snacks in the supermarket, her performance always ranked in the top.

A photo of Su Min with her daughter

She just didn’t expect that with the income, her husband would stop giving her money and they started an AA marriage.

The money for groceries is paid jointly, and the utility bills are bound to the salary card of her husband’s river bureau family home. Go to relatives to send gifts, each buy their own, daughter’s expenses from childhood to adulthood, including college tuition, are borne by Su Min.

Over the years, Su Min and her husband have little savings. In Du Wei’s opinion, the parents would not save common money to improve the living environment of the family. When she was in junior high school, the family still had a concrete floor and old tables and chairs. She envied other people’s homes with telephone landlines and beautiful floor tiles.


Du Wei was the only daughter in her family, but she was not close to her father.

In her mind, her mother was capable and had a feisty personality, willing to work on everything herself. In high school, Su Min accompanied Du Wei to study in Tibet, Du Wei was not used to eating Tibetan canola oil and lost her temper with her mother. Su Min did not say anything, and the next day Du Wei found that it had been replaced with new oil.

The father loves to help and is the “enthusiastic Uncle Du” in the community. The neighbor’s iron is broken, will help to take to repair. My father was also a friend, and often invited old classmates to dinner.

She couldn’t figure out how her father, who was a warm-hearted man outside, became indifferent once he entered the house.

Du Wei felt that “the house was always cold”. When she was very young, her parents had already separated, two rooms in a house, she and her mother a room.

In Du Wei’s memory, quarrels and fights were a common occurrence. She summed up a pattern: there was a fight every few days of the month, and the fights were usually at night.

“At night people are idle and talk and talk and talk and get angry.” When she was in junior high school, Du Wei used to listen to her father’s snoring in the doorway and hear the sound before she could sleep in peace.

The first night Du Wei and her husband moved into the new house, they received a call for help from her mother. Su Min went to shout at old Du who was playing mahjong to come home for dinner and got into a conflict.

That night, Du Wei rushed into the house and the first thing she said was that they should “get a divorce”. She said to her father: “This marriage must be divorced, I am afraid of every day!” Su Min also considered divorce, but was always trapped by reality. Would her daughter’s marriage be affected by the divorce? The house and car are not in your name, after the divorce, what is left for you? After the divorce, find another one, will it be as good as before?

Su Min loves to read crossover novels, in which the heroine always gains sweet love. Today, Su Min has no vision of love. “When I was young and beautiful, I didn’t even get love before, will I still get it when I’m old? Unless a pie falls from the sky.”


Su Min went away for seven months, driving more than 8,000 kilometers, the farther away from home, feel closer to a new life. “The past is all in the past tense, if looking back is unbearable, then just do not look back, look forward, I still have half of my life to live.”

Talking about the current life, Su Min’s tone has an unconcealed joy. Su Min said that after the departure, every day is a fresh life.

She shares her daily routine in the video, a tree, a meal, a piece of the sea, a strange flower. She took a cell phone holder and filmed the journey.

Day by day, Su Min trunk of bottles and jars but more and more. Everywhere she went, local fans would always send her a variety of specialties. She went to Guilin, the local girl took Su Min to try Guilin’s taro chicken and cow three treasures, and when she left, she gave her own made three flowers wine and tofu milk.

She went to Sanya, Hainan, and could not find a place to park. A netizen in the live room left a message that her family was in Hainan and she could contact her anytime she needed help. She took the attitude of trying and sent the message. Not long after, the netizen drove to Su Min’s location and invited her to stay at home for two or three days.

She also got to know many of her car friends. Everyone tacitly never asked about the past, only about the route and the scenery.

“These are the people who have helped me on the road, people who cannot be forgotten. I saw love in them and felt warmed by it.” This year’s Spring Festival, her son-in-law invited Su Min home, but she chose to spend it alone in Hainan.

To eat dumplings for the New Year. She bought 2 pounds of dumpling skins in Hainan’s food market, found a good parking spot on the beach, set up a car-top tent and cooked a pot of leek dumplings. She finely chopped the leeks, shredded the pork, chopped the filling with a knife, and stirred in sesame oil. After the soup was put down, the aroma attracted passersby from the surrounding area.

At night, she was alone in the tent, watching the night view of the sea, she laughed and said she was living in a “sea view room”. In the next few days, she learned to surf in Hainan, standing on a surfboard for the first time and feeling the waves rise and fall. However, her daughter Du Wei is not used to this Spring Festival without her mother.

In previous years, Su Min would make a table with fish and meat, and also prepare a plate of fried dumplings. But this year, because busy taking care of twin sons, Du Wei can not be distracted, only a plate of dumplings in a hurry. Du Wei thinks, this year’s dinner table less that plate of fried dumplings, less a point of the taste of New Year.

And Su Min said she prefers this Spring Festival spent in Hainan, she began to think more about their feelings.

“Now technology is also developed, we want to talk on the phone, want to see each other, it is not difficult, so there is both distance and happiness.” The report tore a hole in Su Min’s life.

Relatives believe that Su Min’s family is harmonious, and her popularity has pierced the thin paper. The family’s respected elders saw the news in the newspaper and called Old Du in for a scolding. “Go back or nothing has changed, to change long ago.” Du Wei said.

Su Min didn’t care if her husband changed, she was busy with her own life. She changed.

“After I set out, I was completely myself, I took the path I wanted to take, and really lived for myself. I don’t need to consider the feelings of my husband and children, I only need to consider myself, what I want to eat, where I want to go, what I want to do.”


This summer, Su Min and two female car companions, intends to take the national highway 219 new Tibetan route, around the border tour. This line flat elevation in 4500 meters above sea level, along the way to go over five high mountains, as difficult as the “Shu Road difficult”.

And Su Min but feel excited. “Until now, I really feel out of that tunnel of life, living in the sun.” Su Min decided to give the next three years of her life to self-driving tours. The future will also consider going abroad, she likes the style of Europe.

As for marriage, Su Min does not plan to divorce, she feels that time is the best medicine. “No matter how the past is, after some time, we will start again, or meet again and live again, it is possible.”

Su Min hopes her story can give women going through mid-life crisis the courage to “change”.

“I hope everyone will have confidence in themselves and not be afraid of the wolf in the front and the tiger in the back, but have to change themselves in order to find the direction and goal of life.”

Recently, Su Min went to the Dongxing border crossing in China and Vietnam, she changed into the red national style dress bought at the Yunnan night market for several tens of dollars.

The wind carried the salty humidity of seawater, and many sea birds flew over the sea.

Su Min remembered her childhood in Tibet. At that time, she liked to look up at the soaring birds, the blue sky is endless, she forgot everything, only to feel the sky is vast, the birds are free.