Dutchman ends up in China hospital after 10-day airport wait for online 'girlfriend'

Mr Alexander Peter Cirk stayed at Huanghua International Airport for 10 days, waiting for a woman he met on a social media website.
Mr Alexander Peter Cirk stayed at Huanghua International Airport for 10 days, waiting for a woman he met on a social media website.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/CCTVNEWS

After just two months of lovelorn web messages,Mr Alexander Pieter Cirk flew from his native Amsterdam to Huanghua International Airport in the Chinese city of Changsha to wait for his online date.

The 26-year-old woman, who was identified only by her surname Zhang or her English name Alice, failed to make an appearance.

Mr Cirk, 41, told local media that when he could not find anyone greeting him at the arrivals hall, he waited - and kept on waiting.

He stayed in the airport for a full 10 days, sleeping on benches and eating instant noodles, before collapsing from physical exhaustion and malnutrition.

The diabetic Mr Cirk was taken to hospital on Friday and hospitalised over the weekend, the Dutch foreign affairs ministry told NBC News.

Photographs showed him in a wheelchair and hooked up to an intravenous drip.

A woman claiming to be the elusive Ms Zhang told a local Hunan television station that she had thought Mr Cirk was joking about visiting China, and that she had been having plastic surgery in another city during his ordeal.

She said to the Chinese media that she was willing to pick up the relationship where it left off.

However, Mr Cirk was already scheduled to leave for the Netherlands on Monday.

Chinese social media users had been following Mr Cirk's tribulations since early in his airport stay, when photographs of him wandering the halls began circulating.

His misadventures sparked a hashtag on the Weibo microblogging site, with an unsympathetic user asking sarcastically: "Doesn't he know that everything in China is fake?"

Referring to Mr Cirk's gaunt and dishevelled appearance, another user suggested: "Perhaps (his supposed girlfriend) did go to the airport, saw what he looked like, and promptly turned back around."