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Man living in Bejing Airport for 14 years wanted to get away from his family

Wei Jianguo, who is in his 60s, has called Beijing Capital International Airport his home since 2008.

Beijing Capital International Airport

Neasa Cumiskey

A Chinese man has been living in an airport for 14 years because he “wanted to smoke and drink without his family bothering him.”

Wei Jianguo, who is in his 60s, has called Beijing Capital International Airport his home since 2008.

He has lived in the airport’s Terminal 2 for the past 5,198 days and doesn’t plan on going home to his wife and her parents in Wangjing, which is about 20km away, any time soon - although he has left the airport on occasion.

“I can't go back home because I have no freedom there. There’s nowhere warmer than here,” he 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 (approximately €142). But then how would I buy my cigarettes and alcohol?”

Police often ask Wei to leave the airport and, on one occasion, even drove him home to Wangjing after a video showing him eating noodles in the terminal’s waiting area went viral.

However, he said he always finds his way back.

“I get expelled, lay low, and then I come back, just like old times,” he said.

“At least I have my freedom in the airport.”

Surprisingly, Wei doesn’t hold the record for the longest time living in an airport.

Turkish man Bayram Tepeli moved to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport in 1991 to get away from family problems and lived there for 27 years before the airport closed in 2019. He now lives in Sabiha Gokcen Airport.

And Brazilian man Denis Luiz de Souza has lived in São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil for around 22 years after taking refuge at the airport in 2000 to get away from family conflict at home.

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