When you hear the story of Hachiko, the dog who waited for his owner outside of Shibuya Station for 10 years, your heart wrenches in pangs of sadness, yet is warmed by the thought that such love and dedication exists in this world. But, what if Hachiko had been a man and his owner was some girl who stood him up, is your heart still warmed?
You don’t just have to imagine this situation, because it actually happened, or, should we say, is currently happening. A Taiwanese man has been waiting outside of Tainan train station for his date who never showed up… 20 years ago.
It all started when Ah Ji was a well-dressed 27-year-old man. He fell in love with a girl from Tainan and was ready to take her out on a hot date. They’d planned to meet at Tainan Station at a certain time, but she didn’t show up.
It’s not clear whether this was a first date or if they’d been seeing each other for a while, but apparently, she wasn’t interested enough to show up for the date. There’s always the possibility that she messed up the place or something happened that held her up, but Ah Ji never heard anything about it.
But then again, how could he have gotten word if he never left the train station? And by never left, we mean, 20 years later you can still find him waiting for her outside. She must have been one great lady.
▼ Ah Ji’s new home after that fateful date night.
In his heartbroken state, Ah Ji chose homelessness and hunger, surviving on the generosity of social workers, passersby and confused family members who supply him with food and fresh clothes from time to time.
His family has tried to get him to come home, but he won’t. Even when social workers found a new place for him to live, he refused it, saying that he “doesn’t wish to leave” and that at this point, he’s “used to waiting.”
If she really was from Tainan and just stood him up, she probably had to avoid the train station for 20 years, which would be pretty inconvenient, really. Perhaps time has aged her enough that he can’t recognize her anymore, though…
▼ Hachiko at least went home every evening and returned the next day.
What do you think? Is Ah Ji’s Hachiko-like, 20-year wait for his long-lost love endearing, or do you think he’s just a little nuts? Maybe after all of this press he’s getting, she’ll go find him and they can finally go on that date!