BEIJING — He woke to the cry of the morning janitor. “Put your shoes on!” she said. “Put your shoes on!” She rattled a chair. “This isn’t your house! Sit up!”
Ding Xinfeng’s eyes blinked open. Dawn had yet to break, but inside a 24-hour McDonald’s restaurant in central Beijing, more than a dozen homeless people had begun their daily routines.
Mr. Ding lifted his head, revealing a mess of food stains and decorative slogans on the table in front of him. “Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen,” one read.
Mr. Ding could not read the English, but he said he liked the warmth of this table, in this corner, in the peace of McDonald’s, the place he had called home for several years.