A Dutch man spent 10 days at an airport in China waiting for a woman he met on the internet but ended up hospitalised after the stay took a toll on his health, local media reported.
Alexander Pieter Cirk, 41, arrived at Changsha's Huanghua International Airport last month hoping to meet a 26-year-old woman with the surname Zhang.
What’s on Weibo, a website reporting trending topics inside China, also shared a video detailing the Dutch man’s heartbreaking story.
Despite thousands of kilometres between the two and a six-hour time difference, their romance appeared to blossom.
Cirk was so in love that he decided to fly to Changsha in central China’s Hunan Province to meet Zhang. However, when he landed, no one was there to welcome him at the arrival area.
After eight days in the arrivals terminal, he told broadcaster Hunan ETV he had met her online some two months ago through a social networking application and quickly fell in love. He also stated that he would not leave until his "girlfriend" arrived.
However, Zhang told Hunan ETV by phone that she had not expected Cirk to actually come to Changsha and was unable to meet him after recent cosmetic surgery had made it "inconvenient" for her to step outside.
Zhang said she thought it was a joke.
"We had advanced our romantic relationship but later he seemed a little callous toward me," Zhang 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."
"I was really shocked. When we started, we were aiming towards [marriage], but he slowly became a bit indifferent towards me," she told the broadcaster.
"But when we started we were both on good terms."
After 10 days of waiting with little to eat or drink but instant noodles and soft drinks, Cirk was taken to a hospital where he told Hunan ETV from a wheelchair he was still determined "to have a good talk with the woman I love, [and bring her] back to my hometown."
Zhang also told the TV channel that she would meet Cirk after her recovery and that she is still interested in maintaining their relationship.
He later returned to the Netherlands without setting eyes on Zhang.