Woman, 50, lives in convenience store after family dispute

Woman, 50, lives in convenience store after family dispute

TAIPEI, Taiwan - A 50-year-old woman who resides in Hsinchu has been "living" in a Family Mart convenience store in Zhongli, Taoyuan City for over a month, reading newspapers on display in the store, sleeping with her head on a table and occupying a seat with her purse when she has to leave the store for a moment.

Zhongli police said the woman, surnamed Cheng, has a grudge against her daughter-in-law - they often argue over parenting issues, and Cheng thinks her son does not care about her anymore. Cheng thus decided to run away from home and wandered to Taoyuan from Hsinchu.

The convenience store manager, surnamed Hung, said Cheng came to the store about a month ago and would not leave, noting that "she spends more time in the store than our staff." Hung noted that as Cheng now has an unpleasant smell, all staff and customers try to avoid her.

The Taoyuan County Government Social Welfare Bureau said officials talked with the woman, and they would buy lunch boxes for her sometimes; however, Cheng told them that she does not need help from them.

The bureau said as Cheng does not have mental issues, and she does not need financial aid as well, the bureau could not do anything in regards to the situation.

"I came to Zhongli to run some errands, I didn't bother anyone ... Can't I stay in a convenience store?" Cheng was quoted as saying by the United Daily News.

Police said at first Cheng refused to offer her ID, but after a talk she told them she had a fight with her family. Given that Cheng's family did not file a police report and Cheng has not interfered with anyone in the store, police cannot force her to leave the convenience store.

Police stressed that they would keep trying to reason with Cheng and assist her in reuniting with her family as soon as possible.

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