Man camps at Beijing Airport for 10 years

2017-12-21 12:41
PHOTO: Magazine Features.

PHOTO: Magazine Features.

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A man has been living at an airport in China for the last 10 years, just like Tom Hanks’ character in well-known film The Terminal.

But unlike character Viktor Navorski in the 2004 film, the middle-aged man, who prefers to stay anonymous, lives at Beijing Capital International Airport because his family won’t allow him to drink at home.

The rather unusual resident can be found in a small corner of the airport's arrivals hall where he’s turned several rows of seats into his personal living space.

He has cutlery, pots and an electric stove in his tiny abode and can be seen having almost every meal there by himself.

But he has none of the troubles of Hanks’ character – which was inspired by Iranian refugee Mehran Nasseri – and even leaves to get more food supplies every now and then.

"I’m used to it," the man said about his airport life, and explained that he’s a "laid-off government worker" who receives a pension of R1 900 every month.

"I’ve been living here for . . . Let’s just say it’s been too long," he says.

A cleaner at the airport says the man has been squatting there for a decade and tends to raise his voice after he’s had a few drinks. 

"It’s great here. It’s warm and I can drink," the airport squatter said. He added: "I can go home whenever I like, but they don’t let me drink there.”

Members of the public have questioned why he hasn’t yet been kicked out, but he believes he has every right to stay there as long as he likes.

"I go everywhere [inside the airport], but I don’t think I disturb anybody," he said, adding: "It’s a public space. Anybody’s allowed in.”

An airport security officer said officials have offered to take the man to a shelter but he refuses to go. 

"He isn’t bothering anybody," the officer said, adding: "It’s really cold outside and we don’t want him to freeze."

Source: Magazine Features


Read more on:    man  |  homeless  |  airports

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