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28th Mar 2022

Man lives in airport for 14 years to escape family

April Curtin

His family said he would have to quit smoking and drinking if he stayed

A man left his family home 14 years ago and has been living in an airport ever since.

Wei Jianguo, a Chinese man in his 60s, decided to make Terminal 2 at Beijing Capital International Airport his home back in 2008.

Why? Well, his wife and their parents (who he lived with) didn’t like him smoking and drinking and said he had to quit. Instead, he fled their home in search of a more peaceful life.

He told China Daily: “I can’t go back home because I have no freedom there.

“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 (AU$200). But then how would I buy my cigarettes and alcohol?”

We all love getting to the airport at the start of our holiday – and hate coming back to it at the end – but Jianguo has seemingly conquered holiday blues by never going home again.

He’s also given up on work too. Jianguo worked at an internal combustion engine factory for 20 years but said he was sacked when he was in his 40s for being “too old”.

Jianguo often gets to enjoy a fairly peaceful live at the airport – wondering to the nearest market every morning for steamed buns and porridge, some food for lunch and a bottle of Chinese white spirit, baijiu.

However over the years he has been kicked out by police and security before being driven back to his home in Wangjing.

Despite this, he always returns to his real home, the airport.

He said: “I get expelled, lay low, and then I come back, just like old times. At least I have my freedom in the airport.”