An elderly woman in China found her long-lost daughter after approaching a street cleaner to ask for directions.
Hu Jun, 46, was working in Langzhong, Sichuan Province, earlier this month when a woman approached her to ask for directions.
The woman turned out to be 78-year-old Cai Youxiu, Hu’s mother whom she lost contact with after she left her hometown, Yunyang County, in 1999 to find work in another province.The local authorities had reportedly planned to reunite the two if not for their accidental meetup the day before their scheduled reunion.
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“I was cleaning in front of a school entrance when an old lady came to ask me for directions, and I immediately recognized her to be my mother,” Hu told The Cover. “I was so excited, but she didn’t recognize me even after I called her ‘Mom.'”
While not immediately convinced, Cai eventually believed Hu after the police confirmed that she was truly her daughter.
Cai’s unexpected reunion with Hu became a trending topic on Chinese social media, with the hashtag “old person asks for directions and meets daughter missing for 24 years” generating over 34 million views on Weibo.
Several social media users found the story astounding, with many of them likening it to a plot of a movie or novel. Hu, however, received online criticism from plenty of users for not exerting more effort in finding her family.
According to Hu, she had lost a piece of paper with her family’s phone number. She later found out that her family was forced to leave their old home due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, which is why she lost contact with them completely.
“I tried sending them letters, but they were all returned because the old address was invalid,” Hu was quoted as saying. “I’ve lost too much time with my mother. I vow to spend as much time as I can with her now.”