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.
Sometimes? I'm Judgmental. Also, Seattle!
13 hours ago