Tom Hanks gave moviegoers a glimpse into the difficulties of lying down in an airport in the 2004 film The terminal. However, a man has decided that living in an airport is much easier than living at home with his family.
Wei Jianguo, who is in his 60s, is said to have moved into the Beijing International Airport more than 14 years ago after a falling out with his family, who did not support his drinking and smoking habits.
Wanting a place to drink and smoke without judgement, Jianguo now lives in Beijing Airport. He even built a makeshift house, with his personal effects, food and a sleeping bag.
Talk to China DailyJianguo explained, “I can’t go home because I don’t have any freedom there.”
“My family told me that 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 (about $150). But then how could I buy my cigarettes and my alcohol?”
According to China Daily, Jianguo gave up looking for work and found ways to be self-sufficient using the amenities provided at the airport. Her daily routine includes shopping for breakfast, lunch and alcoholic beverages.
“There’s nowhere warmer than here [the airport],” he said China Daily. “I can go home anytime, but I won’t be allowed to drink.”
Airport officials reportedly contacted the police and asked Jianguo to leave the airport several times. The latest event happened just before Christmas 2021 after a viral video showed Jianguo eating noodles in the terminal.
The police escorted Jianguo home to his family (about 20 km away). Within days, Jianguo was back in the familiar surroundings of the airport.
“I get kicked out, lay low, then come back, like the good old days,” he told the outlet. “At least I have my freedom at the airport.”
According to China DailyJianguo is not the only resident to call Beijing airport home.
In 2018, it was reported that up to six people lived in its three terminals.
Although Jianguo’s story is currently trending online, he is not the most famous airport resident.
In fact, the movie The terminal was based on Nasseri’s story.