Homesickness is a disease with only one known cure. Go home. But sometimes circumstances are against you. When that happens, people can resort to some pretty strange schemes to get back to where they long to be.
At 19, an unhappy Brian Robson was working in Melbourne, Australia, but sighed deeply for his native Wales. He was so eager to get home that he actually had himself loaded into a box with the aim of having it shipped to his home in Cardiff.
By 1964, Robson had enrolled in an assisted immigration program. His path was paid for by the Australian government and, in return, he committed to a two-year concert with Victorian Railways.
Robson regretted the deal almost immediately, but if he failed to honor the contract, he would be obliged to pay close to £ 800 in expenses to get him there.
Having no money to pay the debt, Robson had to find an alternative solution. He and two of his co-workers, Paul and John, hatched a “top-secret” plan to simply mail it home.
Paul typed the proper shipping papers. The trio then secured a 3’x 3 ‘x 2’ wooden box and made sure it had air holes so Robson could breathe.
Equipped with only a bottle of water, an empty bottle (“for obvious reasons”), a pillow, a hammer, a flashlight, and a small bag, Robson prepared himself for what was to be a 36-hour trip to London, and then to Cardiff from there via more traditional means of transport.
After nailing the lid closed, his colleagues checked the box “FRAGILE” and “THIS SIDE UP”, but like many better laid plans, this one was bound to go wrong.
Robson soon found himself being treated with anything but care. The three-day journey turned into a five-day marathon odyssey, 24 excruciating hours of which it passed in reverse.
As the grueling test progressed, Robson considered quitting, but ultimately decided to move on. “I toyed with the idea for a few seconds and was convinced, look, you’ve done all this. You can’t embarrass yourself right now. You’re going to move on and that’s it, “Robson told the host. CBC How does it happen Carol Off.
When Robson, almost stunned, finally landed, he found himself not in London, but in Los Angeles, where he managed to alert workers to his presence with the beam of his flashlight.
Although he was severely dehydrated and badly beaten, when he was released from the confines of his cage, Robson was delighted to have survived the trip.
Of course, as an undocumented immigrant arriving by cargo, he received a thorough review from American officials, but after hearing Robson’s story of nostalgia, he was rushed home, only this time, as a first-class passenger out of courtesy. from Pan American Airline.
“The Americans, the FBI, the CIA and everything else, they were brilliant. I mean, I fell in love with America, because they never treated me so well, “Off said. “Everyone there really took care of me. And they just thought, Oh, it’s this silly kid getting in trouble. “
Once home, Robson’s story got its share of the press, but he refused to reveal the names of his accomplices because he didn’t want to get them in trouble. Now, however, with the debut of a book chronicling his adventures The escape from the box Robson believes that the statute of limitations has probably expired for any crime, and that he would love to get back together with his old colleagues for a pint.
The problem is that you cannot remember the last names of your friends. Robson said he tried to contact his colleagues once he got home, but never received a response. “I really don’t remember where they came from in Ireland,” Robson told the BBC. “We used to joke about her wonderful Irish accents. They were both the same age as me. I know they went to school together in Ireland, but the memories fade after 56 years. I mean, they know how it went for me. They should have done it because the publicity was worldwide, but I have no idea what happened to them. “
Now that the cat is finally out of the bag, Robson is hopeful for a reunion. “If I meet you again, I would like to tell you that I am sorry I brought you into this and that I missed you when I returned,” he told the BBC. “I would like to invite you to drink.”
– BBC News NI (@BBCNewsNI) April 7, 2021
While shipping home in a box is certainly a unique and highly under-recommended mode of travel, the same year that Robson was stored as cargo, a stranded australian in London he performed the trick in reverse.
After washing himself in the Olympic trials, to add insult to injury, javelin thrower Reg Spiers had his wallet stolen. When it broke, he enlisted the help of a friend to send himself home, collect, in a box slightly larger than Robson’s, with interior straps to keep it secure.
Suffering just a brutal layover in Mumbai, Spiers arrived in Perth 36 hours later, only slightly worse from wear and tear. After leaving the checkout and the airport, pinching a beer on the way, he put on a clean suit and hitchhiked home.
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