Shanghai- After 10 years away from home, a 24-year-old woman finally returned home over the weekend to her parents’ great surprise and relief. Turns out that their daughter hadn’t really been literally dead all those years, just living inside various internet cafes. She had ran away from her home in Hengdian, Zhejiang province at the age of 14, following a vicious quarrel with her mother. A decade later, a policeman found the woman using a fake identity card at an internet cafe in Hangzhou. Back at the station her story came out. She told police that after leaving home, she had eaten and slept inside internet cafes. When she wasn’t eating or sleeping — she played internet game. With no job, she survived on handouts from other gamers who took pity on her, reports Tencent. Also taking pity on her, the police hit the woman with a 1,000 yuan fine and called her parents, who rushed to Hangzhou to bring back their long lost daughter. Her mother told reporters that she would never fight with her daughter again as long as she lived. That parenting approach is much more lenient than the one taken by some Chinese parents who send their web junkie kids away to infamous internet addiction treatment centers in the hopes that they will be cured through military-style physical training. In 2008, China became the first nation to declare internet addiction as a clinical disroder. At the time, the China Communist Youth League claimed that more than 17% of the country’s 17-year-olds were addicted to the internet. Might be a little higher now.
You’re never going to believe this, but this happened in China. Part of me kinda thought this was par for the course with rebellious Chinese teenagers. In the same way that Americans spend a better part of their teenage years underage drinking, smoking pot and disobeying their parents, I just figured the Chinese equivalent of that was bouncing around to various internet cafes for a decade and people assuming you’re dead. We’ve seen stories like this end differently. There have been countless stories where Chinese kids simply drop dead in internet cafes. This girl and her parents should count their lucky stars that she didn’t end up like one of them. What do you think the homecoming like when she walked through the door for the first time in 10 years? Was it casual? Like, “Hey parents who thought I have been dead for 1/1o of a century, what’s for dinner? I’m starving.” I bet the parents are sneaky disappointed she’s alive. The story says she left home at age 14. Not that there’s a perfect age for your kid to die/run away forever but 14 is the perfect age for your kid to die/run away forever. The first 14 years are pure bliss. You get all the cuteness and the kid still likes you. Around their teenage years is when kids become thankless monsters. Her parents had to be celebrating when she finally took off. Free weekends are back, baby! Then that ungrateful little brat comes walking through the door 10 years later. Bummer.