Two men from Bangladesh were forced to live in New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport for 48 days. The duo left their homeland to seek employment in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, they did not have the appropriate papers to enter the country. So, officials confiscated their passports and placed the men on a return flight to Bangladesh with an intermediate stop in India.
The weary travelers landed in the layover country, but upon arriving, they found themselves stranded since their passports were still in Saudi Arabia. The lost souls waited in the transit lounge of New Delhi’s airport for the 6+ weeks until Bangladesh could issue them new passports. During their stay, the gentlemen often asked the airport cafeteria to give them work — without payment — as a way to pass time. How’s that for boredom?
Forty-eight days may sound like an eternity, but Iranian refugee Mehran Karimi Nasseri spent an amazing 18 years living in France’s Charles de Gaulle Airport. His story was adapted into the film The Terminal. It’s interesting to note that Nasseri continued to live in Charles de Gaulle even after he was offered papers that would allow him to leave.
I can’t imagine spending that much time in an airport. I can’t even stand being in one for a three hour layover. I think I’d find myself coming up with games to play like “Switch Around the Luggage Tags at the Baggage Claim.”