Man Has Been Living in Airport for 14 Years to Get Away From His Family

A Chinese man has been living in the Beijing Capital International Airport for 14 years in order to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol without his family nagging him about it.

Remember “The Terminal“, the cult classic in which Tom Hanks plays a man stuck in an airport for years because of a political coup in his home country which renders his passport invalid? Well, his story is nothing like that of this article’s protagonist, a Chinese man who has been living inside an airport for over 14 years, of his own free will. After losing his job in his early 40s, Wei Jianguo became so depressed that he spent his days drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. His family didn’t like that one bit and told him that he had to give up his two biggest pleasures in life if he wanted to continue living in the family home. He couldn’t do that, so he simply moved into Beijing Airport.

“I can’t go back home because I have no freedom there,” Wei Jianguo told China Daily. “My family told me if I wanted to stay, I had to quit smoking and drinking. If I couldn’t do that, I had to give them all my monthly government allowance of 1,000 yuan ($157). But then how would I buy my cigarettes and alcohol?”

Wei says that he could always go back home, but he just doesn’t want to. In fact, he has been taken to his home in Wangjing by police and security several times over the years, but he always comes back. The airport’s modern amenities and facilities provide him with everything he needs, and he’s able to do the things he enjoys without being nagged by his strict family.

The unemployed man, who is currently in his 60s, uses an electric cooker to make his food right in the airport terminals, but he sometimes buys cooked from one of the many restaurants there, which he says provide a nice variety of foods, at prices comparable to those in central Beijing.

Wei Jianguo keeps his mobile kitchenware, blankets and clothes in a couple of suitcases and claims he doesn’t need anything more. And if he ever does, he just goes out and buys what he needs, before returning to his home away from home. As long as he has the freedom to do whatever he wants before being criticized by his strict family, he’s happy.


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