The letter request:
Ok this is the deal. I went to replace my stolen drivers licence today and it’s free of charge if you can produce a police report. So I took my San Francisco police report only to be told they only accept Western Australia police reports. Accordingly they sent me down to the local cop shop to lodge a report of my licence having been stolen in San Fran – 13,000 km away…
Dear Western Australian Department of Transport,
I left my heart in San Francisco. Shit, no, not my heart, my wallet. I left my wallet in San Francisco. I left some brain cells at Burning Man and it’s rendered me a little confused. You, however, seem incredibly confused. Someone less polite might call you stupid.
When my wallet was stolen on the other side of the world I did what most travelers do and reported it to the police. Not because I thought they’d track down the sticky-fingered pickpocket as they spree-ed Vegas with my credit card, but because I figured it would be useful to have a police report to help me get the necessary replacement cards once back in Australia; in particular, my drivers licence, which I need for work.
Back home, I fronted up to a licensing office quick-smart to get a replacement only to be told my police report was useless because you do not accept police reports from any other state or country, you only accept police reports from the Western Australia Police. Let’s examine this bizarre little protocol: clearly you are playing a game called ‘Nothing Exists Outside of the Planet called Western Australia.’ I’m friendly with denial. I too like to pretend things don’t exist: for example, stretch marks (‘That afternoon light is casting weird shadows on my hips!’) and Tony Abbott (‘Australia is currently without a government but that’s okay, we’ll sort that shit out soon’).
Your helpful staff told me to hop along to my local police station to report my wallet as stolen and procure the necessary bona fide Western Australian police report but you can guess where this is going, can’t you? At the police station I was told that they could not lodge an incident report for a crime that happened outside of WA. Cool. So if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes. And if a wallet is stolen outside of Western Australia and there is no way of reporting it to the Western Australia Police, was it really stolen? Yes. It really fucking was.
Eventually we reached a resolution where I could pay for a new drivers licence with a measly $40 but that was money I had to scrounge for because, as I told you, my wallet was stolen and someone had cleared out my credit cards.
I love WA and its endless unpopulated plains. One can drive for days without seeing another soul and it’s easy enough to believe that this is where the world begins and ends. BUT IT’S NOT. There is a big, brave world outside of Western Australia.
Let’s make a deal: I’ll try to make sure that, in future, my possessions are stolen within your state jurisdiction and, in exchange, you take a holiday and see how vast this world really is.