[Follow Ups] [Post Followup] [Our Discussion Forum]

Posted by Jeff from ( on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 at 11:45AM :

In Reply to: Homecoming posted by Tiglath from ( on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 at 2:42AM :

David... AHEM, I mean, Tiglath...

I apologize for not being able to visit y'all in the middle east during that 6 month period.

It sounds to me like this was quite a life experience for all of the aussies... the Doc, Nicholas "Of-Jello", and yourself. Are you and the Doc still going to make a picture journal of your travels in the middle east? That would be a great idea, considering the beautiful pictures (and stories to go along with them) that you could share with the outside world.

Congrats on not giving the bribe to the officials, though it may have been worth it if it was cheap enough and saved you several hours... but being an upstanding man of great character, you probably don't agree.

The Syrians (gov't excluded) sound like very friendly people... the 4th level of the inferno??? Wow, that's quite a way to describe your experience with the government beurocracy.

Since you mentioned that you used "broken Arabic" to ask for directions, I submit the following:

1. You are a traitor
2. Go take a bathey, or a showery
3. Go back to Kabul, Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan
4. Muslim
5. Agent
6. insert typical insult here


I'll be emailing you soon.

: After 6 months in the Middle East it was finally time to go home.
: Having arrived in beautiful Damsacus one day early in order to arrange the permit in my passport needed to officially leave the country I hoped that things would run smoothly. The people of Syria are definately the friendliest I've ever met in the world.
: It was not uncommon to ask for directions in broken-Arabic to have them grab your arm and walk you to your intended destination.
: Their government and bearacrats, on the other-hand are totally different.

: Nicholas Aljeloo, another Aussie-born Assyrian accompanied me to the Passports office where I had a chance to witness their "system" again on the day before my flight.

: From the start we knew that if we paid "baksheesh" (bribe) to one of the officials that my passport would be stamped quickly with little or no problems. But we both refused to support the endemic corruption and decided to stick it out. We were put through a battery of tasks.

: Paperwork was shuffled between the offcials who juggled us amongest themselves and came up with ficticious rubber-stamps, computer approvals and signatures in order to delay us as long as possible hoping that we'd bribe them.

: We jumped all the hurdles and at 2:00pm the office closed for lunch and they finally aquieced allowing us to go after approving my passport.

: Next day we packed and arrived at the airport in time for our flight.

: Here we had to endure a gauntlet of corrupt officials who questioned and queried us at every turn.
: One even took out a magnifying glass and checked my passport to ensure that it wasn't fake!
: Passing through the Syrian airport could best be described as the 4th level of Dante's inferno.

: After a grueling journey through customs we finally arrived and boarded the Emirates flight home.

: We had finally made it and as we sat in our seat and the plane took off the Doc and I felt like the hostages who had been freed by Chuck Norris in that Delta Force movie. Almost broke into a chorus of "USA! USA! USA!", but stopped because we knew that we were Aussies.

: We were finally on the plane comfortable and safe.

: "If there's a Doctor in the house could you please make yourself known to the cabin crew!" came the plane's loudspeaker.

: After Sankho made himself known to the cabin crew they took him to a passenger who had breathing problems and he administered to her.

: She got well pretty quickly after that and as a gesture of their appreciation the Doc and I were upgraded to Business Class!

: There we sat in Business class legs elevated and spread as the stewardesses brought us more Scotch and coke.

: "Not bad Doc. I told him...if their flight computer crashes I think I should handle that one!"

-- Jeff
-- signature .

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

E-Mail: ( default )
Optional Link ( default )
Optional Image Link ( default )

This board is powered by the Mr. Fong Device from