News National Oddest calls from Aussies abroad revealed

Oddest calls from Aussies abroad revealed

marise payne goes to China
Marise Payne says The department of Foreign Affairs and Trade received a number of quirky calls. Photo: ABC
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From a bird blamed for eating a passport to someone seeking advice on the egg preferences of North Koreans, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has heard it all.

Those examples are a few of the unusual requests for help from Australians travelling overseas, as revealed by Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Monday when she launched the annual State of Play report.

The report details where Australian citizens travel and the assistance they sometimes require.

A panicked Aussie eager to jet off to Bali called for consular help when an airline wouldn’t let them fly because they claimed a bird had eaten their ID.

“What could possibly go wrong on that Bali trip?” Ms Payne quipped in Sydney on Monday.

Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico, an Australian who wanted to change hotels decided to ring the department to see if they could help them in their endeavour by ordering an Uber.

Another called to ask for diplomatic immunity – despite still living in Australia.

But “perhaps the strangest” of all requests received in the 2018/19 financial year was from a person keen to sell eggs in Pyongyang.

“Ok, I thought,” Ms Payne said.

“Except that the second question was ‘Could DFAT please ascertain whether North Koreans prefer white or brown eggs?'”. The answer remains unclear.