Tuesday, November 25, 2008
EVER SEE THE TERMINAL?
A Japanese man has set up home in Mexico City's airport and has no intention of leaving. Hiroshi Nohara has become something of a celebrity in Terminal 1 of Benito Juarez International Airport since arriving on September 2. Mr Nohara has said he can't explain what drew him to the airport, or why he has decided to stay. "I do not understand why I am here," Mr Nohara, who is originally from Tokyo, told a local television station through an interpreter. "I don't have any reasons." Mr Nohara holds a valid visa and local authorities admit they have no reason to force him to leave. All they can do is wait for the paperwork to expire in March. In the meantime, Mr Nohara has become famous and is regularly featured on local television. He sleeps in a chair in the airport's food court, surviving off food given to him by vendors keen to see their merchandising promoted in his TV interviews. Passengers who recognise him also help him out by buying him burgers and coffee. In return, he is happy to pose for a photograph or sign an autograph. After three months of living rough, however, Mr Nohara is looking decidedly dishevelled. His beard and hair unkempt and his clothes are in need of a wash. Some people using the food court have complained that he needs a shower. The quietly spoken Mr Nohara replies that he just wants to be left alone and preferred it when he was not in the media spotlight. His story is similar to that the 2004 film "The Terminal," in which an Eastern European man, played by Tom Hanks, gets trapped at New York's JFK International Airport by revolution in his homeland and is repeatedly denied permission to leave by immigration officials.