A Chinese teenager who ran away from home at the age of 14 was recently found alive and well after having lived in Internet cafes for 10 years!

Ten years ago, a 14-year-old Chinese girl got into what must have been quite a hostile argument with her mother. While this is a common event between hormonal teens and their parents, it’s not everyday that the child then runs away for 10 years.

After running away from her home in Hengdian, Zhejiang Province, this girl found shelter and food in an Internet cafe, beganning her ten-year cafe hop.

You may be thinking it would be impossible to live in these cafes. After all, what would she do about food or hygiene?! Where would she sleep?! While we don’t know the conditions of the Chinese Internet cafes where she stayed, there are some high-ends ones that have showers, private rooms with couches or padded floors, and a kitchen from which you can order a variety of hearty meals. But those usually cost money, though much less than a hotel. However, this teen runaway was not working — unlike her male counterpart who made money gaming while living in a cafe for six years (and counting).

To pay her way, she scraped by, accepting hand-outs from her fellow gamers and spending the rest of her time gaming. Her days of free-living and gaming recently came to end, however, when she was caught and arrested for using a fake ID card. She revealed her life story to the police, who then called her parents.

Having disappeared ten years prior, the girls’ parents presumed her dead, so it was a wonderful shock to hear that she was alive and well. They rushed to the police station to get her, vowing never to fight with her again.

▼ Mother-daughter reunion after ten years.


We’re not sure if the girl picked up her gaming addiction before or after beginning her Internet cafe life, but she’s not alone in her addiction. It’s become such a public concern that there are now hard-core physical training rehabilitation programs for addicted gamers. We’re not sure if she’ll be admitted to one or not.

For now, though, we’re just glad to have a story with a happy ending!

Source: Shanghaiist
Top Image: Zhejiang Online