Monday, November 12, 2007

Departing Syria

Arriving at the airport found that there was security before you could get to the counter to check luggage. There was a hole in the wall to put your bags in and a little way over was tan opening for people to be checked. In the list of forbotten objects was sharp objects (knives, scissors, …, swords). How many people try to take swords on a plane and why list swords specifically? Of course there is a sword that barely fits in the biggest duffle bag I could buy in Damascus. As there is no one on this side of the wall to discuss the issue I go for it and send the bag through the hole in the wall x-ray machine. Then it takes ten minutes to get through the queue to get searched and pass to through the wall. I find the bag is sitting on a counter with four men sitting around it. So I walk over, pick it up as the guys seemed a little distracted and head for the airline counter. No one stops me. In the line for the airline I realize I left another bag back at security as I was making a break for it with the forbidden stuff. I leave my big duffle bag in line and hurry back to security 150ft away. I find my other bag and as I approach the airline counter my big duffle bag is no longer there. I though I was not looking at the bag for less than 30 seconds. I spot it in an empty slot at the counter. I go to retrieve the bag and find I have been moved to the front of the queue. The airline accepts the bag and places a “security check” sticker on the bag. I feel happy and safe. In Chicago I am question about why I was Syria and Lebanon and I kept refraining from the answer I wanted to give was “they have the best training camps”. So immigration does not invite me to visit sunny Cuba. I pickup my luggage and head through customs with nothing to declare. They x-ray everything and do not comment on the sword or the three bottles of wine in the big duffle bag. Check my duffle again and watch them throw the bag on the conveyor belt with a big thump. Good new the truck made it to the repair shop 40 miles away after I put three quarts 40 weight (all the nearest gas station had) in the bone dry differential. All the wine made it so we need to have a Lebanese wine tasting party.

Love and Kisses

1 comment:

extragarum said...

Good morning Steve, i'm an italian historical researcher. In your blog i find a photo about the frescoes of knights in the church of Margat in Syria. It's a rare image. It colud be important for me to have a high quality copy of your photo for my studies. Can I have it? If you send your complete name too, I can write it in my pubblications.
Thanks a lot for your kind reply.
Best regards.
Luigi Chiarion.