Anytime you venture

into a big city like New York, you are mindful of your surroundings. You could get robbed. It’s where thieves stalk their prey. A few years ago I was in Melbourne at the Victoria Market, and I was filming with my, by then, ancient digital camcorder. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a couple of shady looking assholes taking an interest in what I was doing. It dawned on me that they had seen me as a tourist, an easy mark. They were up to no good for sure. I stopped what I was doing and left the market, I’d had enough of it anyway. Thinking I’d left these fools behind, I was walking down Queens Street and I looked behind me and saw that they were still following me. Finally I shook them off, but it was disturbing. More so, since I was a long time resident of Melbourne. I probably know every lane way and arcade in the joint. I don’t know what these idiots were playing at, but they picked the wrong person. There are some places you can be pretty sure that your valuables will be safe. I never, for example, imagined I would be robbed at the Australian consulate in NYC on behalf of the Australian government, but that’s essentially what happened today.

More than once I have bought cheese here, and butter too..

This unfortunate incident has it’s roots in my renewing my driver’s license back in Sydney about five years ago. I’ve talked about it before. Because I have held a commercial truck license for ever, I asked the person when I was renewing it, if I could just have a regular license. I’m pretty sure he heard me, but when my license came in the mail it was still the same old Heavy Vehicle version which I have no need for. Of course when I went to renew it, it couldn’t be done online. For whatever reason. I asked them and they said there’s paperwork to fill out. That’s patent rubbish, but I digress. In order to renew this license I was going to have to visit a local office (in Sydney) or they would send me a form that I could fill out, have notarized and mail back to them. They would (potentially) renew it that way. Ok fine, I had to go to the consulate because not any ordinary Joe could “do all the paperwork”, it had to be a head of the defense department (no kidding) or Albo’s aunt. Somebody important. This is a driver’s license, not a fishing permit. A random Aborigine could have probably done it for me, but then I should have declared my “First Nations” status and I may not have even needed to go through any of this horse shit at all.

I don’t need the license at all other than to use it when I go to Australia. If I decide to go and live there for an extended period, I don’t want to have to undergo a driving test again. As you can imagine, it’s a fucking inconvenience and shouldn’t be necessary, but if I let this expire, that’s what would happen. I also have flawless driving record, and I’m not going to sell my license to the highest bidder on the black market, just because I’m not there this week. I’ll get there eventually, and use it like I always have. Anyway, this is such boring shit tale, but the consulate charges you to have these ‘papers’ notarized. Essentially they’re telling the drones at the Roads and Transport that I am who I claim to be. On their website they tell you it’s $56 to notarize something, ie look at a document and stamp their approval on it. What they don’t tell you is that it’s $56 for every document. I had two, and then there was the overall fee for showing up at the window and witnessing me sign the form.

Getting the Orange out on St Pat’s Day

That’s $168 US! For five minutes work. The fellow signing the papers was pleasant and helpful, and it’s not him who sets these outrageous fees. It’s the fucking Department of Foreign Affairs. The dude who collected the money appeared to be from a Latin American country, south of the border. I told him that it was ‘gouging”. Maybe he could pass that on to that quare Penny Wong. She’s the minister. I wish I hadn’t looked it up, honestly. The least I see of Wong the better. The picture of her on the Dept front page is creepy. She looks like a lizard person who’s overdosed on Botox. Kid’s, it’s scary! See for yourself. What the fuck is with her?? I’ve never particularly had much time for Wong, and I’m sure she has zero time for me other than to pick my pocket. At her behest, they’re charging a thousand dollars an hour there to literally rubber stamp bits of paper. It’s highway robbery Penny. I thought consulates existed to help citizens, not rob them. Nice work though. I’m sure it will help to pay for a few more Bushmasters for Ukraine. None of this should have been necessary if the original retard back in Sydney had done what the fuck I told him to do, so fuck him too. Oh, and it’s St Patrick’s Day.

Waiting on the station this morning was a real Idiocracy moment. Some unintelligible gibberish kept coming over the loudspeakers about “no alcohol on de train, and some such”. This was backended by “enjoy the holiday”. St Patrick’s Day is not a Federal Holiday, but enjoy the “holiday”. Morons.