On Saturday evening I checked into a hotel in Odense in Denmark. The Danes are fairly relaxed, and I was not asked to produce my passport as I might be in some European countries. They did ask me for “something with my name on it”. I handed them my “Barclaycard Premiership Mastercard” (ie a credit card with English soccer logos on it) and my English driver’s licence. I did not show them my passport (it was in the car) and I did not mention my nationality.
However, the next day I got my receipt and it had “Michael John Jennings. Australia”. written on the top.
I am intrigued as to how they figured this out. It is true that my licence does have the endorsement “70AUS” amongst the fine print on the back, indicating that I did not ever have an English driving test, but was issued an English licence on the basis of having an Australian one already. However, I did not see the hotel clerk study the fine print on the back of my licence, and I would have been impressed had he known what that endorsement means.
Perhaps it was my accent? However, I have lived in England for nine of the last thirteen years, and English and Australians often cannot figure out my accent. (Often they can, too, but mistakes are often made). The Danes are excellent linguists, but I didn’t realise they were that good.
Or perhaps Australians just give off some vibe. Perhaps it is one that annoys British immigration officials, makes the French like us, and is instantly visible to Danish hotel clerks. Who knows?