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Man texts Greece to get rescued in New Zealand

A tourist texts his family in Greece when he gets lost on a New Zealand mountain. His family calls Greek authorities, who contact those in New Zealand. Great, but why didn't he just call a local rescue number?

I have come to terms with the truth: however hard I try, there are some things (and people) I will never understand.

Please let me present Marios Symeonidis. He decided to go on a trip to New Zealand. I can understand that. New Zealand is pretty. It doesn't have many inhabitants. And some of the locals like to perform blissfully threatening dances before rugby matches.

According to a Monday report by Reuters, Symeonidis decided to wander up Mount Ruapehu with a friend. I understand this too. There is some great skiing up on Ruapehu.

Our intrepid tourist then encountered difficulty. He became separated from his friend. I can understand that. Friends are pesky beings at times. They can be so self-centered. They can do things that annoy you--like wandering off into the woods.

Still, the problem now was that Symeonidis wasn't really dressed for a night on the mountain. He was a little lost too. Perfectly understandable.

Mount Ruapehu. Lovely, isn't it? CC Or Hiltch/Flickr

So what did he do? Well, he texted his family in Greece to tell them that he was lost. This is where I turn around and discover that my good friend understanding has wandered off into the woods. I fear that he may never return.

We should all cheer that Symeonidis' family in Greece reportedly contacted Greek emergency services, who contacted the authorities in New Zealand, who went in search of Symeonidis. They found him (and a new friend he had encountered up the mountain) hungry but unharmed.

Perhaps you, too, are asking yourself this small question: if his cell phone was working, why didn't he just call the local emergency services in New Zealand? I believe that its code is 111, not 911.

Perhaps he was not confident in his English. Perhaps he didn't know the number. Perhaps he always called his family when difficulty confronted him. But perhaps, too, he might have been saved a little more quickly if he'd at least tried a New Zealand number or two.

Then again, perhaps he was worried about the roaming charges.