Tourist ends up spending 12 days in a German refugee center by mistake

Chinese Tourist Ends Up Spending 12 Days In A German Refugee Center By Mistake

It was supposed to be a European adventure of a lifetime, but one Chinese tourist's dream vacation quickly went from leisurely to terrifying due to a serious language barrier.

A 31-year-old Chinese traveler, known only as Mr. L, was visiting the German city of Heidelberg when he hit a small snare: his wallet was stolen.

But while attempting to report his missing possession at what he thought was a local police station, Mr. L unwittingly made his situation much, much worse: He filled out an asylum request form that got him stranded as a refugee in Dülmen, Germany, for two weeks, according to The Guardian.

Red Cross staffers reportedly noticed Mr. L seemed a bit out of place at the shelter, as he was wearing very nice clothes and kept asking if he could have his passport back.

Unfortunately, he wasn't well versed in German, and staffers at the shelter didn't understand Mandarin, according to The Local.

Workers at an area Chinese restaurant suggested the use of a translation app, and soon thereafter, the terrible truth was revealed.

The Guardian reported that it quickly became clear that the man simply wanted to travel to France and Italy -- not seek asylum in their country.

German officials spent nearly two weeks piecing the story together before sending the poor guy on his way.

Christoph Schlütermann, an official with the German Red Cross, told DPA news that the man "set machinery in motion that he couldn't get out of."

"He spent 12 days trapped in our bureaucratic jungle because we couldn't communicate," he continued.

"Germany is unfortunately an extremely bureaucratic country. Especially during the refugee crisis I've seen how much red tape we have."

After the mix-up was discovered, the tourist did get to resume his vacation, and, according to shelter workers, didn't seem overly upset by the delay.

However, he did note that Europe wasn't what he anticipated ... but then again, can you really blame him for being underwhelmed in this scenario?

RELATED: Check out the world's 15 most dangerous travel destinations:

World's most dangerous travel destinations
See Gallery
World's most dangerous travel destinations

An aerial view of Lagos, Nigeria.

(Photo via Getty)

Lagos, Nigeria

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Kajuru, a village close to Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

(Photo by Irene Becker via Getty)

Bogota, Colombia

(Photo via Getty)

View over the town of Popayan in Colombia.

(Photo via Getty)

View over the city in the evening, Bogota, Colombia, South America.

(Photo by Florian Kopp via Getty)

Sana'a, Yemen.

(Photo via Getty)

The old San'a view from a window, in Yemen.

(Photo via Getty)

Views from the main cloth bazaar in the city center of Peshawar, Pakistan, July 2010. 

(Photo by Adnan R. Khan, AOL)

Women looking over Islamabad, Pakistan.

(Photo by Patrick Poendl via Getty)

Homes in Venezuela.

(Photo by Jose Tejo via Getty)

Caracas, Venezuela.

(Photo via Getty)

View of Sugarloaf mountain, Guanabara Bay and the downtown city area of Botafogo of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Photo via Getty)

Neymar (r) and Brazilian players celebrate during the World Cup Group A opening game between Brazil and Croatia at Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Favela Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

(Photo via Getty)


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.