A man who has lived for more than a year at Nairobi’s international airport to protest being denied entry to Britain has finally been granted U.K. citizenship and plans to fly there within days.
In a real-life African version of Tom Hanks’ 2004 Hollywood hit “The Terminal,” Sanjai Shah, 43, has been eating cafeteria food, sleeping on plastic transit lounge chairs, and showering in arrival hall toilets since May last year.
His morning alarm is the dawn announcement advising the safe landing of the first flight.
“It’s like a second home here. All the staff know me, they’re very friendly,” Shah told Reuters.
“But it hasn’t been easy. The chairs are uncomfortable to sleep on. And the food is bad.”
(By the way, when I originally watched The Terminal, I didn’t realize it was supposed to be a comedy. I took it at face value, and it was therefore unable to hold my suspension of disbelief. I simply could not believe in the antagonist; he was like a caricature, an embodiment of evil. Knowing that it was a comedy, I’d like to watch it again…maybe I’d enjoy it now. But at the time, all I could think was that it was an exaggerated, self-indulgent exhibition of the suffering of a man who had done nothing wrong. It was more upsetting than anything, even if it did have a happy ending. And because it was so unrealistic, I felt as if I was being preached at, like there was some sort of moral I was supposed to be gleaning from it. All in all, it was a very irritating experience.)