During the second world war two Aussie soldiers were in Damascus on leave from a camp nearby. During their perambulations around the city they sampled quite a number of noggins of the local brew, arrack, and eventually they became hopelessly lost.
The locals couldn’t understand English and were unable to direct them. Then a British general replete with ribbons and all, loomed up.
“Hey, mate,” one of the Aussies addressed him, “can you tell us where we are?”
The general drew himself up haughtily. “Do you know who I am?” he said curtly.
“Cripes, Bill,” said one Digger to the other, “here’s a bloke who’s worse off than we are. We don’t know where we are, but this poor blighter doesn’t know who he is!”
— Mr F. J. Vandenburg of Wycliffe Well (N.T.) in Bill Wannan’s Come In Spinner
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