For any Kiwi who has spent time living in London, Julian Assange — the Australia-born Wikileaks founder who has been crashing at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012 — will cut a strikingly familiar figure.
Assange is the ultimate Aussie dosser.
Our trans-Tasman cousins are notorious for arriving at a London-based mate's house with little more than a sleeping bag, a rucksack and a well-thumbed Lonely Planet to their name.
"Sure thing, mate," the unwitting hosts say.
"Come in. You can crash for as long as you need."
Three weeks later, the Aussie dosser is ensconced on your sofa and passing their days watching TV and surfing the net. After two months, the flatmates can no longer remember who invited the dosser in there in the first place. Four months later — with dosser undies drying on the radiator — the hints are wearing thin. ("See anything good on gumtree.com today, mate? Any jobs? Perhaps a flat?")
The Ecuadorians dropped the ultimate hint when they cut off Assange's Wi-Fi last year.
Pity the poor Ecuadorian diplomat who rises from his desk mid-morning to make a cup of tea in the office kitchen only to find the Wikileaks founder — shirtless and wearing just a pair of daggy trackpants — standing at the fridge door and swigging straight from the milk bottle.
The acorn never falls far from the tree. His doss at the Ecuadorian embassy is just a couple of tube stops away from Earl's Court — once known as "Kangaroo Valley" due to Assange's XXXX-swilling predecessors who descended upon the neighbourhood in the 1960s and 1970s.
Managing dossers (and correct dosser behaviour) is an integral part of the classic OE experience. So it's important to get it right.
Following a change in the political winds in Ecuador's capital Quito, Assange — with whom the Swedish authorities would like a quiet word about alleged sex offences — might soon find himself no longer welcome as an embassy guest.
Never outstay your welcome.