I don’t know how any of your lives are going at the moment, but I’m pretty confident in saying that, whatever’s happening, you’re doing better than this poor pathetic Dutch guy, 41-year-old Alexander Cirk, who almost died while waiting ten days in a Chinese airport to meet a girl he’d been talking to online. Alex, buddy, you really need to rethink some things, pal.

Cirk had been corresponding with his internet-based girlfriend, a 26-year-old Chinese woman known only by her surname, Zhang, for about two months when Cirk had the idea to visit her in person. The pair met over a “social networking app,” and while Zhang reports that the two had agreed to wait a year before meeting, Cirk decided he couldn’t wait.


Cirk applied for and received a Visa to go to China, and sent Zhang a picture of his flight information, though Zhang suggests she didn’t comprehend the relevance of the picture. Also suggestive that she didn’t understand the relevance of the picture is that when he arrived, she was out of town, getting some sort of cosmetic surgery.

Undeterred by the absence of the only person he (sort of) knew in a country of over a billion people, Cirk decided to wait at the airport. And wait. And wait.


He waited ten days, living at Changsha airport, and while he was waiting there he doesn’t seem to have taken much care of himself, since he was eventually hospitalized for “hospitalized for fatigue, malnutrition and inactivity.”

Oh, you poor, pathetic bastard.

I mean, I get that there’s a potent mix of heartbreak, shock, and confusion, but he didn’t wait for any confirmation she’d be there? And, after say, oh, 48 hours, he didn’t start to think maybe there was a reason she wasn’t contacting him at all? Maybe?


After being released from the hospital, Cirk flew back home, having logged one of the shittiest vacations ever undertaken by a Dutchman. The couple says they still plan to stay together, because of course they do.


Alex, buddy, listen. Take some time. Rethink some things, okay? On a happier note, based on that picture of him up there, I bet they can get Steve Buscemi to play him in the eventual rom-com Ten Days Without You.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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