TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An octogenarian couple became the talk of Taiwan this week after photos of them wearing ensembles of discarded clothes from their customers went viral on social media.
Hsiu-e (秀娥), 84, and her husband Wan-ji (萬吉), 83, have run a laundry shop in Taichung's Houli District for nearly 70 years. Over the decades they have built up quite a collection of clothing never reclaimed by its owners.
Recently, for fun, their grandson encouraged them to start posting photos of themselves sporting the vintage garments on their Instagram page wantshowasyoung. On Sunday (July 19), the The Idea King Facebook page shared some photos of the couple in their retro outfits, quickly gaining 20,000 likes, 21,000 shares, and 3,600 comments.
Just two days later on July 21, the pair announced they had gained 50,000 followers on Instagram, and two days after that their page had reached an astonishing 100,000 followers. On Thursday (July 23), their grandson wrote that his grandparents still do not quite understand the concept of social media, referring to the page as their "newspaper" and what it means to "go viral."
According to her grandson, people now recognize Hsiu-e on the street and call her by name, prompting her to say, "I don't know you, why do you know my name?"
After being told their "newspaper" has thousands of "subscribers," including 14,500 from other countries, Wan-ji became concerned and worried "What will happen after that? Do they understand if I speak Taiwanese?"
Their grandson was very moved by the worldwide outpouring of support for the couple and apologized for not being able to respond to all of the comments.
Hsiu-e and Wan-ji (Instagram, @wantshowasyoung)