Watching the movie “The Terminal” or reading the Alain de Botton book A Week at the Airport can make you have crazy ideas, like perhaps that living in an airport for a period of time would be awesome. Tom Hanks kind of finds romance, de Botton eats a ton of room service and listens to the melodramatic life stories of travellers passing through Heathrow’s Terminal 5; it all seems so nice and easy.This week however, those daydreaming about living at an airport got a wakeup call when a Japanese man was found to be doing just that in Taipei International Airport, after running out of money and overstaying his visa. Masaaki Tanaka subsisted on soy sauce and wasabi packets while searching the airport floor for loose change. Hmm—not so glamorous.
Naturally he blogged about his experiences at TPE and gained the attention of the public, who have now donated enough cash for him to pay his visa fine and fly home to Japan. CNNGo has more on Tanaka’s ordeal, but they note that he’s not due to leave until October 26. If your travels take you through Taipei anytime in the next week, keep an eye open for the glum, 42-year-old man making a meal of condiments.
He claims he wouldn’t have survived had he been stuck at any other airport than Taipei International, but umm…we’ve been there and it’s nothing to write home about.
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