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British tourist's veg sausage hunt in India among UK's 2018 quirky requests list


Press Trust of India London
A UK tourist calling up the British High Commission in New Delhi to buy vegetarian sausages is among one of the quirky requests made by Britons travelling abroad in 2018, authorities here said on Sunday.
The unnamed man's vegetarian sausage hunt in India is on a list of top 10 requests which the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) highlighted it cannot help with, while stressing on the crucial consular and medical support it can offer its nationals abroad.
The man in New Delhi asking what time the British High Commission opened, as he had heard it sold vegetarian sausages and wanted to buy some, was ranked seventh on the list, which was topped by a caller from the US asking which celebrity contestant had won the popular BBC show 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
Among the other quirky requests included a man enquiring if there were vampires in Poland because a woman he met online asked what blood type he was before they met for their first date and a caller in the Canary Islands wanted his hotel to be persuaded to give him a different room as a stray cat had "broken into" his existing one and peed on his bed.
I can regretfully confirm that the Foreign Office isn't able to offer advice on vampires, rogue stray cats or 'Strictly' contestants. And our capacity to deploy veggie sausages remains sadly lacking," an FCO spokesperson said.
"But in all seriousness, getting into trouble abroad can be daunting and upsetting. If you find yourself in an emergency in another country, contact the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate and our consular staff will do everything they can to help," the spokesperson said.
In 2018, the FCO said it received more than 330,000 calls from British people who needed its help. This included more than 3,400 people who were hospitalised and 4,900 arrested.
The FCO issued more than 29,600 emergency travel documents to help people who had lost their passports make onward journeys.
It highlighted the circumstances under which the FCO can assist its citizens abroad as getting in touch with family or friends if they cannot contact them; providing details of local services like lawyers, interpreters and doctors; offering information on how to transfer money to make payments; issuing emergency travel documents; and visiting people in hospital or who have been imprisoned.
The FCO said it has released details of some of the oddest enquiries it received in 2018 to highlight what it can and cannot do to help Brits in trouble abroad.
Among the other odd requests included a man in Kuwait asking if any of the embassy staff wanted to adopt his puppies, a caller asking if the embassy could provide a list of women in Argentina who he might be able to marry and a man requesting the embassy speak to a massage parlour in Bangkok on his behalf as he fell asleep during a massage and felt he should not have to pay for it.
Some other questions include a man asking where he should send a five-foot piece of wood that he had found on a beach that he thought may be from a British warship from the 1700s, a caller in the Netherlands who had just watched the film 'Braveheart' and had some questions about the plot and a person in Italy asking the embassy to help arrange a wedding, recommend a florist and get tickets to see the Pope.

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First Published: Dec 30 2018 | 4:55 PM IST

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