Thursday, July 9, 2009

And Now, the Rest of the Story....

So apparently, my life has pretty much turned into one of those stories that they used to tell in the olden days to teach little kids lessons. As many of you may have gathered, I tend to lean toward the drama because everybody knows a story is MUCH MUCH better if you don't cloud it with "facts" and "actual dialogue" or "what actually happened." In my experience, if I tell a story that I think could or should have happened that way, they are totally more interesting.

As such, most of you probably thought that I was "exaggerating" or "lying" when I wrote that I couldn't find my effin passport(s). I must admit that as I read through yesterday's comments that I was a bit surprised by how cruel and flip many of you were, how there was NO SYMPATHY at all for my plight (and it WAS a plight, I tell you)!!! Therefore, I have to conclude that, much like that boy who cried wolf, many of you didn't actually believe my story. (I assume that today 4 and 20 blackbirds are going to come flying out of a pie and I'll find mice in my tub, in keeping with the story. Or was I going to end up living in a shoe with a large egg named humpty sitting on the wall? Whatever. You get it.)

If only yesterday had been one of those "Facts Are Strictly Optional" moments...
I actually DID lose both of my passports.

I had to go beg the Consular officer to issue me an emergency tourist passport. (Which, amazingly enough, he totally did - after I paid him what he called the "you're a stupid ass" fee. ) The Embassy issued me a new passport in less than 3 hours. I am quite impressed with either our government or my own ability to harass, cry and threaten until people make stuff happen just to make me go away.

So the story ends and all is good, right?? No.

We're only at the middle of the story - where everyone THINKS they're going to live happily ever after, but then there's always a twist!!!

Sudan didn't want to let me OUT of the country because, inside my lost passport was the 2 year visa they issued me for the privilege of working in Sudan. Turns out, if you are in Sudan illegally (without a diplomatic passport - which cannot be issued in Khartoum) the Sudanese assume you're up to no good. And will want you to be a guest of the government for being in the country illegally.

So, with the help of the newly sainted Anna-Maria (I didn't even have to add the catholic saint-making name - she already came with it!) a dip note was sent to the Sudanese government and we begged for them to send me a letter letting the guys at the airport know that I'm not Evil, Just STUPID and, therefore, to set me free.

The letter was in Arabic - I totally wish I knew what it said, but can only assume it went like this:

To Whom it May Concern:

May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon you. Standing before you is an idiot who works at the Embassy of the Great Satan. She has lost her passports because obviously, she is a stupid western Ho. (NO! DON'T LOOK AT HER!)

Although it may appear that she is in our blessed country illegally, in reality, she has diplomatic status. -- Please ask to see her diplomatic ID card issued by Sudan now..I'll wait (insert muzak here) -- Good, you're back. I assume she forgot that as well? If so, please make 15 phone calls pretending to verify her story. Once completed continue to para three.

Please feel free to ask her a number of questions at this point - questions she will not know the answer to, such as "what is your address in Khartoum?" When she tries to tell you the US Embassy, look at her like she is an idiot, but ask her where she physically lives - it'll totally be funny. Now seriously, she won't know. We don't have street addresses that are posted. She'll just know how to describe where she is...pretend you just moved here. Seriously, it'll be hilarious.

ha HA! I told you!!

Now ask for her local phone number and roll your eyes when she tries to hand you her card and/or look at the back of her cell phone to find out. Seriously, that really annoys her. Watch her face, she'll totally start to roll her eyes and then remember she has to be nice to you. The eye-roll will seamlessly merge into a sunny smile. SEE!? hahaha

Okay, that's great. This was fun. Thank you for your assistance in this regard. We can only push this Embassy so far, we kinda still want some stuff from them.

Have a Happy Nice Day!!!

Mohammad al- Sudani
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

PS Right before she thinks she has made it out, do me one last favor, would you??? Inform her that because she is traveling on a tourist passport, she has to go pay the "exit tax" before she can leave. Point to the really long line off to the right of you. It'll be waaay funny.


Hit 40 said...

This reminds me of when my husbands flash drive went missing from our little office. It contained all his freaking toy train collection info.

We had 3 suspects - cleaning lady, cable guy, and my mom!!

I am more worried about your passports!!!! Not Good!! Maybe, ask your cleaning lady to find it for a bonus amount of $$. This way if she did take it. She might somehow "find" it for you.

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm glad (and impressed) that you got a passport so quickly.

"4 and 20 blackbirds are going to come flying out of a pie"

That's why I keep a BB gun on the table at all times.

Gaston Studio said...

OMG, that's horrible what you had to go thru just to get out of the country... but I'm also LMAO at the way you describe it happening!!

Don't know about you but I have just got to know where those missing passports are, seriously. I had my purse stolen in Cairo late one night and when I called the Embassy, the Marine wasn't the least bit interested... of course, mine wasn't a diplomatic passport but I would have thought they'd have been concernd that some bad person would use it and pretend to be an American! He just told me to get a new one... was that Josh???

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Oh Michel, what you must endure! I would totally feel sorry for you if it weren't that you're writing this from the luxury of the Ritz Carlton and is that cheesecake smudge I see on the keyboard?

Beth said...

So, are you saying you'd feel better if we had put you on our prayer list?

Beth said...

How long are you going to be in the US? Because I am a bit disorganized, I finally have something to send to you and you are leaving Sudan. When can I send it to you?

Have you unpacked all those boxes? You sure you didn't throw the passports away with the boxes?

Optimistic Pessimist said...

I think smoting has begun. Better watch your back.

darsden said...

OMG figgin Hilarious!! ya know I gotta go with what blognut said yesterday dude...what are you incharge of over there...LOL they probably won't let you back in either. Lack of sympathy from your loyal readers...bawhahahahaha

Medora said...

You are off your rocker. I would never go over there. Good luck.

Reddirt Woman said...

Michel I won't ask how many years you've been traveling this world over and had to carry a passport. When you unpack more boxes you will find them... then you will have three to put in some very special place where you can promptly forget where they are... again.

Welcome to MY world. I can sure empathize.


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Funny, funny, funny. Now velcro that passport to your forehead!!!


Comedy Goddess said...

This is one for your hall of fame!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I can't believe I missed the fun yesterday. Yea for you getting out with new paperwork.

Hit 40 is spreading a rumor on her blog that you are meeting up with her and Otin.

Suzy said...

I lost my wallet yesterday so I'm all up in your grill with that. I found it this morning but HOW did you lose 2 passports? I only lost 1 wallet dude.

Erin said...

This whole story is crazy. Lucky you for getting a new passport so quickly though. I don't even own a passport so I am not even sure how that process works but I do know it usually takes much longer than that, probably even for a replacement! Hope the trip went smoothly once you arrived and they didn't give you too much of a hard time!

lakeviewer said...

Michel, glad to hear that they let you out, not without some mighty help. So, now that you're in the States do we still address you the same way?

otin said...

Look at the work that you make me do! I had to go and check yesterdays comment to see if I was insensitive, and, damnit, I was not insensitive to your Sudanese crazy existence, well, maybe a little! :)

CarrieAnn said...

This is the funniest damn thing on the planet. And I feel sorry for you for losing your passport. Really.

Frogs in my formula said...

Good thing you got a new passport quickly! I have mine in a safe place, the whereabouts escapes me. But after having my son, I've been grounded (literally) so I haven't needed it.

Fragrant Liar said...

It is incredible how fluently you are able to summarize arabic. I hardly even heard any accent. I guess if we don't hear from you soon, that means you are a new guest of the Sudanese government, and we should reroute the Little Debbies and cheesecake and Cheetos to the new digs. Please let us know soon, since I'm not about to waste good Cheetos on a jailbird.

Fragrant Liar

P.S. I'm totally pissed I won't get to meet my shallow sister in person while she's in the good ol' U.S. of A. But as consolation, I'm horking down these Little Debbies.

blognut said...

I'm seriously wondering if they're going to let you back in there. 'Cause I'm pretty sure that you won't be able to find anyone who willingly will write a letter begging them to let you back into Sudan. They may write a letter in Arabic, but it'll probably say something close to exactly the opposite of, "Hey, let her back in." I guess we'll find out.

♥ Braja said...

I think Sudan is in favor of smoting.

♥ Braja said...

I'M BACK!!! My computer!! It's fixed!! Yes!!

OK I've calmed down now.

Well hell, it's been THREE FREAKIN' WEEKS.

And just so you know? I'm gonna copy and paste this comment and post it on all the blogs I visit....:))))

♥ Braja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tera said...

I have just one question:
Are you sure you WANT to go back?

Vodka Mom said...

Why am I always late for EVERYTHING???

(good one...)