Aug 28, 2008

French man with two asses surprises Swedish Customs

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Custom officials at the Swedish port were surprised to see a French man with his two four-legged pack animals who just embarked from a ferry on to the Swedish port city of Gothenburg from Denmark.

The rules at the port required the French man to complete a mandatory Veterinary test required by the Swedish Board of Agriculture on the donkeys under the rules for bringing animals into the country, which would cost the Frenchman €250($395) a sum which the tourist was not ready to pay.


According to the news report AbdelAziz hails from Brittany in Northern France and was wandering with his two donkeys Nounou and Toutoune for about two months in Europe and the Journey was quite smooth until the trio landed up on the Swedish shores where they were met with request for permits and other required documents according to the local news daily Göteborg-Posten.

The whole story left a bad taste with the animals owner getting frustrated, “I had thought about just going to Stockholm and then heading back but now I’m not sure what’s going to happen. All they care about are documents,” Abdelaziz said to GP as he nodded toward the customs checkpoint.

And he also said “If the boat had still been here I would have probably gone back to Denmark at once,” he said.

Port officials were caught in a dilemma of what exactly the rules were for importing two animals inside Sweden from another EU country for a temporary stay.

“Who was it who said that we had common EU rules?” said one, according to GP the Local newspaper.

“Where are the voluntary powers in society which can arrange a roof over one’s head and a spot of grass?” asked another.

Finally the authorities after much deliberations started a collection to pay for the mandatory Veterinary test fees for the animals, in hopes that the Frenchman would overlook the bureaucratic glitch.

“We couldn't just send him back to Denmark. It’s actually a little shameful, there’s nothing human behind this. That’s just the way it is when everything hinges on a bunch of paper,” said a harbour worker who wished to remain anonymous.

Finally the Vet arrived and Nounou and Toutoune passed with flying colours.

After a few days AbdelAziz was found heading towards the central Swedish city of Borås, traveling about 30 km's a day.

"Everyday, I start a new life" quipped the French man.

This is the story before the French man was starting his journey inside Sweden.

This story took place in June this year.

The French man later completed the journey inside Sweden, when he reached Stockholm, the Swedish Capital after wandering through the country roads with his two trusty companions.

Dubbed 'the ass man' by the Swedish press, 65-year-old Jacques Abdelaziz later returned to Brittany in northern France to attend his son’s wedding in October.

And all along the way, the journey did turned a few heads of the local populace. Abdelaziz said his journey across Sweden went faster than expected, and he later got a ride for himself and his two pack animals to Nyköping, from where he headed back to Brittany in Northern France.

News Story by David Landes from TheLocal in Sweden

2 comments:

rhonb said... Reply to comment

haha...funny title for a news item!

Life is Passion ! said... Reply to comment

Yeah, it was a Customs officials nightmare....hahaha. Thanks for stopping by. Take care.

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