Flickr/albedo20

Twelve-year-old Peng Yijian holed up in Shanghai mega-stores for six days, reportedly living off free food samples.

After a heated run-in with his mom about some incomplete math homework, 12-year-old Peng Yijian ran away from his Shanghai home last Monday. With but a few yuan in his pocket and a school uniform on his back, he went to do what any kid would: To fulfill a fantasy of living in several department stores. For a full six days.

After Yijian was reported missing last Tuesday, local enforcement began checking surveillance cameras around his Xuhui District neighborhood. They spotted him in the grainy images from a Carrefour shopping outlet.

“We thought there might be other places he likes to visit, so we asked his mother," Sun Miao, a police officer in Xuhui District, told Shanghai Daily. "She gave us eight or nine names, including Caoxi Park, Nanfang Shopping Mall, In Center, and IKEA."

Evidently, she knew her son; Yijian soon appeared in surveillance footage from the world's favorite non-profit furniture emporium. On Sunday, police dispatched to the Xuhui IKEA found Yijian near an escalator on the ground floor, after a 40-minute, blocked-door kid hunt.

Having reportedly lived off only free food samples from nearby supermarkets, Yijian is now receiving an intravenous drip at a hospital. His parents have said they plan to establish clearer lines of communication with him in order to prevent future escapes downtown.

Personally, I look forward to Yijian's memoirs, or at least a definitive word on IKEA's best mattress.

Top image courtesy of Flickr user albedo20.

h/t boingboing

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a closed street in St. Louis
    Equity

    The Curious Tale of the St. Louis Street Barriers

    Thanks to an '80s mania for traffic calming, the St. Louis grid is broken by hundreds of bollards and cul-de-sacs. Critics say it’s time to get rid of them.

  2. A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  3. Design

    A New Plan to Correct a Historic Mistake in Pittsburgh

    A Bjarke Ingels Group-led plan from 2015 has given way to a more “practical” design for the Lower Hill District. Concerns over true affordable housing remain.

  4. A photo of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.
    Design

    Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration

    Flames consumed the roof and spire of the 13th-century cathedral in Paris. The good news: Gothic architecture is built to handle this kind of disaster.

  5. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.