Woman claims work offer a publicity stunt
A woman who travelled quarter of the way round the world from Macau to Arran claimed an offer of work and accommodation was a publicity stunt.
The woman, who said she would prefer not to be identified, had exchanged emails with James Clark, the proprietor of the Balmichael Centre on the String road and claimed that she had an offer of free accommodation in exchange for work.
Just half an hour before that, Mr Clark had come to the Arran Banner office and told an unusual story.
Mr Clark said that the woman had turned up, uninvited, on his doorstep on Monday afternoon having flown from Macau, a Chinese special administrative area, near Hong Kong, in the Far East.
Mr Clark said the woman had previously contacted him via email on a site designed for gap-year workers called workaway.info.
He said: ‘The centre has a hosting account on workaway. People swap a bit of work each day in exchange for free accommodation – we get hundreds of inquiries.
‘Recently we accommodated two Americans.
‘A woman had contacted us multiple times from Macau and expressed an interest in coming.
‘We always background check people if possible and I had not said this woman could come.
‘She turned up unannounced on Monday. I tried sitting down with her and having a conversation and asked if I could help.
‘Although she was calm, she became terse and started making ultimatums. Instead of being polite, she was dictating terms.
‘I cut the conversation short and drove her back to the port.’
At the ferry terminal, an Arran policeman spoke to the woman. He told the Banner that she had dual nationality from Portugal and Macau and was entitled to stay.
The woman sought accommodation at a Brodick hotel and spoke to the Banner outside.
‘It is the first time I have been to Scotland. I bought a one-way ticket and might have come without the offer.’