SANTIAGO – A Spaniard has been calling a Chilean airport home for the past two months.
NDJ World | Published: Jan 29 2013 Travel
Like in the 2004 movie ‘The Terminal’ that portrays actor Tom Hanks living in an airport, Rodrigo Ben-Azul is really living at an airport in Chili and has become a familiar face over the past two months.
Ben-Azul explains to the Chilean paper ‘PubliMetro’, that he flew to Chili in November to settle a family dispute. “That didn’t work out as I expected and I returned to the airport,” says the Spaniard.
However, when Ben-Azul arrived at the Santiago airport he noticed he had no money on him. He managed to make a collect call to his family in Spain and asked them to wire him money, allowing him to buy a ticket home.
That was two months ago and Ben-Azul says he is still waiting for his family to wire him the money. “I’ve spend Christmas and New Year here,” says the lonesome traveler.
In the meantime, the Spaniard lives at the Santiago airport and earns money by returning left behind luggage trolleys to their stands. He digs in trashcans for food and cigarette butts.
At night Ben-Azul can be found sleeping curled up in a corner of the airport building.
The movie ‘The Terminal’ with actor Tom Hanks was partially based on a true story of the Iranian fugitive Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived at the ‘Charles De Gaulle’ airport in Paris from 1988 to 2006.
Nasseri spend his time reading newspapers, studying economics and keeping a detailed diary. Airport and flight personnel handed newspapers to the fugitive and often brought him bites to eat.
Nasseri was eventually evacuated from the airport when he was diagnosed with an unspecified illness.
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