“Doesn’t he know that everything in China is fake?”

Kirk spent 10 days in the airport waiting for Zhang to meet him, to no avail. And when he finally did leave, it was not by choice; he was taken by emergency services to a hospital to be treated for exhaustion. Kirk, a diabetic, fell unconscious after getting little sleep and not eating much during his stay.

Where was Zhang all this time? She had reportedly traveled to a neighboring province of China for plastic surgery on parts of her face, and she said her phone was turned off during her surgery and part of her recovery. So if Kirk attempted to message her while in the airport, Zhang said, she didn’t receive it. And even if she had, she told the Chinese state media, it would be too difficult for her to travel to the Changsha province to see him because she was still recovering from surgery.

Kirk has since been discharged from the hospital, and he returned home to the Netherlands on Monday.

But all hope is not lost. Zhang told the TV station she still intends on meeting him.