Wei Jianguo is the real life, Chinese version of Viktor Navorski, Tom Hanks’ character who took residence in an airport in the 2004 comedy-drama film “The Terminal”. Well, almost.
You see, unlike the fictional movie character, Jianguo was not actually stranded in the airport due to some unfortunate incident, it was actually his choice to move there after a fight with his wife back in 2008.
The 53-year-old man from Beijing has been living at the Beijing Capital International Airport for almost a decade now and is reportedly having the time of his life at one of the busiest air hub in the world.
In an interview with Pear Video (via MailOnline), Jianguo revealed that when he lost his job some nine years ago, he was devastated and spent his daily life drinking alcohol. As his wife did not want him drinking at home, he was forced to move out. The airport, which houses three terminals, had reportedly tried to make the man leave, but he just stayed there anyway.
Packed with modern amenities and facilities, the multi-awarded airport has provided warmth and comfort to Jianguo, who is currently unemployed. Unlike in his home, he said he could drink and eat at the airport anytime he wants.
While he has set up a mobile kitchen using an electric cooker he had brought from home, he said he sometimes buy the food he likes around the airport, especially at the food-service area in Terminal 3 called the “global kitchen.” Not only do the terminal’s 72 stores provide a variety of food choices ranging from fast food to formal dishes, the products they sell are priced similar to the food found in central Beijing.
Jianguo can actually go back home anytime, but he simply refuses to do so, according to Sina.cn. He has even obtained some items he needed such as blankets, clothes and kitchenware from his house and conveniently stashed them in an airport trolley.
Jianguo said he has been receiving a monthly government subsidy amounting to around 1,000 yuan ($150) since he was laid off from work. He also revealed that he only leaves the airport if he is in need of life necessities that he could not find in the Beijing airport.
Feature image via Sina.cn