Bankrupt man lives with thousands of bottles of brandy leftover from his millionaire days
A bankrupt millionaire in China has been living with nearly 10 thousand bottles of brandy for the past 10 years. The bottles are all he has now as a memento of what his dream once was. He now faces eviction from his small apartment where he lives with his bottles, and has nowhere to go.
A few days ago, he was so cold that he visited a neighbor's home for some warmth. In his own room, he only had boxes of brandy stacked high and a few pieces of simple furniture. He survives on instant noodles. One package of instant noodles has to last an entire day. It's difficult to believe this poor man was once a successful business man and was even a millionaire.
Lin Mon-Hsiung originally came to China from Taiwan in the 1980s and made it big as an importer of expensive foreign liquor for two decades in Shanghai. He had a partner at the time, but decided to start a new company in another province, Hubei, in 2002. His plan was to place the liquor at supermarket chains for sale. He imported the most expensive top XO brandy from France. He also spent huge amounts of cash to promote tasting events which did not get sufficient rewards. The risks he took in all the decisions he made eventually led to his downfall.
In 2005, Lin's company got into trouble. After some disputes with the supermarkets, the liquor inventories were returned to his company. Eventually his company stopped operating in 2006. He was left with almost nothing except the nearly ten thousand bottles of brandy. When his company first closed, he thought he could still sell his liquor inventory, but he hasn't been able to.
When he looks back on his life, Lin regrets that he expanded his business too big and too fast leading to cash flow problems. He wishes he had taken a steady pace to build up gradually. Most of these bottles are dated 2002 or 2003. This means these brandy have essentially been with him for ten years since he imported them to China.
After experiencing the reversal of fortune from business success to a huge downfall, Lin is now 74 and his mind wonders at times. He is also getting weaker every year. Where will he go from here? And what about the many thousands of bottles of brandy?
His landlady, despite sympathy for Lin, also feels helpless. Lin is behind on rent for over 8 months, and the landlady finally called the police to evict him the other day. When the police saw the stacked boxes of brandy, they urged mediation between the landlady and the desperate tenant who has nowhere to go. At the time of reporting, there was no resolution yet.