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You're very well-meaning JP, but the U.S. consulate and a quarter won't even get a cup of coffee these days. I'm shocked at the stories I'm hearing about how helpful (not!) the U.S. embassies and consulates are to American travelers stranded by the tsunami for instance.

I think we need to take seriously those State Dept. warnings that tell us, in a mealy-mouth roundabout way, that if you're in an American and you get in trouble in a foreign country...you are on your own.
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