Need nudism advice? Who you going to call? Holidaybusters?
So you’re off Spain. You’ve heard there are issues with nudism. You decide to make a few enquiries to see if what you’d heard – that there might be nudists in the streets – is true. You are genuinely worried.
Who do you call?
What about if you were in Singapore and looking for work? The only issue is that you aren’t actually allowed to work as your visa won’t allow it. So you decide to seek illegal employment.
Who do you call?
Then again, let’s imagine we have more serious problems. Let’s imagine you are in Europe and you’re hungry. The only problem is that you have run out of English bacon. You need a BLT urgently. Things are desperate.
Who do you call?
Would you pick up the phone to the British Embassy? Of course you wouldn’t. Would you? Surely not? We know better than to trouble our "man in wherever" with such nonsense. After all, we know that the British consul is there to help with genuine emergencies. Their staff are able to support Brits abroad in many ways – including arranging to visit Brits in hospital or in prison, advising on how to transfer money and helping those caught up in crisis situations.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office received almost half a million calls last year from people in trouble abroad. This involved helping 3,250 Brits who were hospitalised, 4,770 who were arrested, and the families of 3,670 who died overseas. Almost 38,000 replacement travel documents were issued too.
But locating a rasher of the finest English? It’s not in their remit. However it doesn’t stop people from call to ask bizarre questions, seek help with trivial matters and even request the loan of a few quid. In a bid to cut down on unnecessary workload the FCO has just released its top ten of odd requests to British Consulates around the world in 2015 to remind us of the real job they do!
In fact, in recent research the FCO revealed that almost three quarters of Brits (74%) thought the FCO could get them out of jail if they were arrested, almost a quarter (22%) thought the FCO could arrange for them to get home if they lost their ticket and 15% presumed the FCO would lend them money if theirs was lost or stolen. They can’t.
The top ten requests the British Consul received in 2015
- a man planning to move to Spain who was worried he would encounter nudists walking through the streets
- a homesick expat asking where he could buy English bacon
- a lady in Lebanon looking for help to recruit an English butler
- a holidaymaker trying to find travel advice for a visit to Coventry
- a European filmmaker looking for an English pensioner to play a part in his new film
- a woman who was disappointed the British Embassy has not sent someone to give her a tour of St. Petersburg on her arrival in Russia
- a British man asking for assistance to get illegal employment in Singapore
- a mother asked for the contact details of a young British YouTuber, as her son was a fan of his Minecraft videos
- a confused businessman looking for information on the construction of plug sockets
- a man in South Korea asking what he could do with his old pound notes
What the British Consul can’t do:
- Help with travel arrangements
- Lend money
- Pay medical bills
- Find bacon
- Get you out of jail free
- Give you a tour of St Petersburg
What your travel insurance CAN do:
While we can’t help you with your holiday plans, we can make sure you won’t have to call the consulate if you need emergency treatment abroad. Our travel insurance policies include cover for a minimum of £5 million in emergency medical expenses so if you do get taken ill we can sort it for you. It’s the same if you get money, documents or belongings stolen, your airline stops trading or you have to cancel. We’ve got your back.
But when it comes to nudism you’re on your own.