Sun, May 25, 2008 - Page 1 News List

German spends more than a week at Taoyuan airport

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Living in an airport terminal is not just a movie plot for German Schenk Gottfried Walter — he actually lived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for more than one week.

Walter, who departed for South Korea on Thursday with the assistance of immigration officials, had been at the airport since May 4, after he arrived from Hawaii.

Following his arrival, Walter had hung around the airport’s restaurant area for unknown reasons, living on food given to him by the restaurant staff.

But he would not take the meals for free. Instead, he returned the kindness by helping them collect dirty plates.

At night, he slept on long sofas in a hall at the airport, the National Immigration Agency said on Friday.

Immigration officials eventually found him and sent him to a temporary shelter in Taipei County on May 15, claiming he had violated immigration laws.

Nevertheless, Walter seemed pleased with the level of care he received at the shelter and asked officials to allow him to stay there for five years, the statement said.

Although the officials did not grant his wish, they helped him depart for South Korea, as he had requested.

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