Jeremy Browne, minister for consular affairs, said the list of questions was released to teach travelers what consular offices are -- and are not -- for.
"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," he said. "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."
Consular staff in Spain had to deal with a man who wanted musician Phil Collins' telephone number and another who thought Prince Charles could use a pair of shoes as a birthday present.
A man in Florida sought advice on dealing with ants in a rented vacation home. In Moscow, a woman called the Embassy to complain about a loud buzz in her apartment.
A Dubai resident wanted consular staff to meet his dog at the airport and get the animal through Customs because he planned to be on vacation.
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