His name is Alexander Cirk. He is 41 and lives in Holland.
Her name is Zhang. She is 26 and lives in China.
They met through a dating app two months ago.
The Dutchman fell in love.
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I will fly to China from Amsterdam to meet you, he told her. And he did.
But she wasn’t there when he arrived on July 22 at Hunan Province's Changsha Huanghua International Airport in south China.
She wasn’t there on the second day.
She didn’t show up on the third, or the fourth, or the fifth.
He waited and waited, sleeping on airport chairs and looking at his cell phone at the glamor shots she’d sent him. He refused to leave the airport, Chinese media reported.
On the 10th day the diabetic Cirk passed out, felled by exhaustion. He was removed from the airport and taken to the hospital suffering from physical exhaustion, the BBC reported.
When she saw him on TV, Zhang called the local station to defend herself, saying she thought he had been joking about traveling to China. She told reporters she was out of town having plastic surgery, had turned off her cellphone and didn’t know that Cirk was in China.
“We had advanced our romantic relationship but later he seemed a little callous towards me,” she said. “One day he sent me a photo of air tickets abruptly and I thought it was a joke. He didn't contact me later.”
People on Chinese social media skewered the lovelorn Dutchman. The topic “Foreign man went to Changsha to meet his online girlfriend” trended strongly on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo.
“He must be stupid, why would anyone do this?” asked one user.
“Perhaps she did go to the airport, saw what he looked like, and promptly turned back around,” suggested another.
Some people suggested Zhang was mean for standing him up.
“Here’s a guy taking a relationship seriously, don't play around with his feelings,” wrote commenter. “If you don't want him anymore, tell him so he can go home.”
Cirk planned to do just that this week after recovering.
As for Zhang, she said she wouldn’t mind meeting him before he leaves because she wants to maintain their relationship. The Daily Mail reported that she called Cirk in the hospital and they spoke for two hours.