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She wrote an essay for a Chinese student about her mother washing clothes in a laundromat, leaving them to run errands and returning to find the clothes stolen. While leaving one's belongings unattended in a public place in China would indeed likely result in them being taken (and no one in China would do such a thing expecting anything different), China doesn't have laundromats. Never has. Not that anyone involved seems to care.

It would be like a Chinese ghost writer crafting a touching tale of an American kid's mom having to work double shifts in a KTV bar only to return home one night and find that her husband's chou tofu stand had been confiscated by the Chengguan.

I went to a laundromat in Shanghai once. Maybe they only exist around the trendy western-style apartment neighbourhoods, but they do exist.

They exist inside and around every university and college throughout the Mainland, though not on the street front. You go up the stairs to the 3rd floor, give your bag of washing and 10 rmb to the attendant who tears a playing card in half, gives you one half and staples the other onto your bag. Go back 2 days later for your washed, dried, and folded clothing.

Right, but you wouldn't have your clothes stolen from that kind. The point is it's automatic and (at least mostly) unattended.

I was left wondering if, in an inception kind of way, she made the story about that happening in her personal life up as a hook to get a lot of readers to read the vice article. After all she talks in the story about how incorporating a thread of pain or humanity helps the students who she ghostwrites for to get the reader of their applications to like them. Couldn't she be using the same tactic with a made-up story about the laundromat incident in Korea to get us to like her article?

PS - I liked the article :)

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