I need an armoured car

By | Category: Travel rumblings
the laughing traveller

well, they make me laugh! © Dan Sperrin

This was one of the strange requests mentioned by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Julie Bishop, last week as she tightened up on consular rules for Aussies.

It would be wrong to suggest that requests by Brits to our consuls are any less daft than some of these. New Zealand even chipped in with some as well later in the week.

The armoured car was requested in behalf of a group of Aussies who were attending a conference in an unnamed city which the enquirer thought was dangerous. In mitigation though, the enquirer did say that they only needed the car for about a week!

Other requests included a plea to feed a person’s dog in their absence and a request to New Zealand consular officials to check on the tenants at a house to make sure they were keeping it in good order.

One person wanted to know how to get a polecat out of a roof but, sadly, there is no indication of how the polecat got there.  A typical Aussie and New Zealand request is to find out where they can view rugby matches. There was an 80-year-old travelling by herself who complained that the consular officials would pack her bags claiming that she was too old to pack my own bags and a mother who wanted the consul officials to pay for her son’s hotel, flight and to collect him in an embassy car to take him to their airport.

The New Zealand consular office In Dubai had one request to collect a suitcase from prison and deliver it to Egypt and prisons do feature on the lists from both countries. Another case involved a man who said that on a previous visit to the Philippines he had some trouble with the law. He wanted to know the telephone number of the Australian embassy in Manila so that he could call them to get him out of gaol when he returned to the country. As a pessimist who expected to go back to gaol you would have thought he might have guessed what the reaction of the consulate would have been!

But I think my favourite is the story of an Aussie male who walked in to the consular office in Bangkok with a prostitute and was refused a loan to pay for services already provided.

It’s a funny old world!



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