The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released it’s latest list of “Odd requests for assistance. And some of these are just comedy gold.
Here’s a few requests the poor people at the FCO have had to handle
- A telephone number for Phil Collins
- Phoning the Sydney Consulate to ask what clothes he should pack for his holiday
- Asking them to sell a house in Sofia
- A lady complained to the embassy in Moscow about a loud buzzing noise in her apartment
- A man asked a consulate in Greece for information on how to go about putting a chicken coop in his garden
- A man asked consular staff in Dubai to meet his dog on arrival at customs and help it through the customs process
- A caller asked staff in Malaga in mid-September where she could get a Christmas lunch as everywhere was already booked up
- Staff in Greece were asked for tips on the best fishing spots and where to purchase good bait
- Prince Charles’s shoe size
- Another request was from a man stranded at the airport by his dominatrix.
The British consulate offers assistance to travellers who are in trouble or in distress abroad, but the warns there are some things it just cannot help with in life it can’t help with.
The FCO say
“We will always try to help where we can but there are limits to the support that we can provide.
“It is important that people understand the level of help we can offer.
“Our priority is to help people in real difficulty abroad and we cannot do this if our time is diverted by people trying to use us as a concierge service.
“We need to be able to focus primarily on helping victims of serious crimes, supporting people who have been detained or assisting people who have lost a loved one abroad.”
(and he forgot to say those who have lost their passports aboard too so they can’t get home).
More seriously in the 2 million requests made a year, they also handle requests for British Citizens including:
- Child Abductions
- Forced Marriages
As a user of the FCO/British Consulate services when I lost my passport some years ago, FCO/British Consulate support is appreciated when it happen and when it’s needed. It’s also a good idea when travelling aboard to stick in the details of the location of the nearest consulate somewhere safe – in case the worse does happen.