Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Finally! A More Useful Travel Warning for Sudan....

So, after my trip I was chatting with a number of people here in the embassy, you know, telling my story about how I was diving with the hammerheads and by 10:00 am, people were going, "Yes.  You were in the sea.  With a shark.  We get it.  They are bitey."  And I realized something: Those people are asses!! That story was good!  They don't know. 

I mean, maybe it was because I was starting all my sentences with, "well, I would have agreed with you before I was within 5 feet of Hammerhead sharks (no I wouldn't), but now that I've been in the midst of a swarm of barracuda, I feel like I just have a little bit more (and you have to say that part in a really high pitched voice so that it  adequately conveys your condenscendingnessious)  credibility than you on this issue." or "after being at sea and living through an almost-shark attack, I can see now why you would want me to write up those minutes.  However, when you've face a shark, eye-to-eye - like I have - you realize that life is about just a little bit more than your minutes of that meeting." 

(Plus, I wasn't really listening during the meeting because I was trying to figure out how I could throw in there that I had seen sharks.  I mean, nobody really stops to consider how difficult it is to weave that naturally into a conversation.  You have to work at it.) 

ANYWAY, I realized that I should probably ensure that you all are aware of the current Travel Warning to Sudan (So none of you decide to come here and clog up the dive sites with your jackassery), because I care about the environment.  Therefore, in yet another selfless act as a civil servant of the U.S. of A, I give you my Updated (and more Useful) Travel Warning in case you are now planning to travel to Port Sudan:

Travel WarningUnited States Department of State
by Michel

This information is current as of today, Wed Feb 24 2010 06:26:53 GMT+0300. (nobody knows what time that is in actuality.  It's an enigma, wrapped around a mystery.  We put it on the warnings so that you have something to do while you pretend to read the below....)


1. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Sudan, and recommends that all travel to Sudan be deferred due to uncertain and unsanitary, and somewhat confusing bathrooms provided in the airports, (see photo attached in #2 below)  and the possibility of violence and harassment targeting westerners if you're a jackass tourist.  Granted, this particular warning also applies to jackass tourists in any location, to include Rome, New York City, and Whitehall, Montana. 
2. U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Sudan despite the Travel Warning should maintain contingency plans to depart Sudan in the event of an emergency.  Citizens should be advised that neither toilet paper or soap and water are provided in the public restrooms of the airport.  Travelers should be prepared to bring their own and to be creative as to how to use it.   Please note that there will be no running water with which to wash your hands (and yes, you have to wash your hands, that's unsanitary!  Don't embarrass me in front of my friends!)  be prepared to pay up to 5 Sudanese Pounds to utilize a bucket of what appears to have once been soapy water.  The State department recommends you carry Costco sized hand sanitizer during travel.

Exhibit A

3.  US citizens who are still undeterred and insist on using commercial air transportation (because you're too lazy to drive), please remember that the USG has issued sanctions on Sudan which pretty much ensures that my father-in-law (a certified airline mechanic with special equipment such as a screwdriver, nuts and bolts, and spare tires) has been nowhere near your plane to repair and/or inspect it.  Rather, travelers should bring industrial duct tape in case you notice a crack or split in your general vicinity.   This will be the one flight where you do not mock that they start their taxi on the runway with a prayer to Allah (you will join them).    After the prayer, however, you will notice the following signs which have been included for your safety.  We recommend travelers read carefully and follow all instructions from the crew which will be barked at you in Arabic, usually mumbled.

Do it! Damnitt!

Although the U.S. is still unclear as to the specific meaning of this warning label, we assess that Sudan does not like you to ask for a small King bed during flight.  We recommend asking for either a twin or a full king.

4.  The US Embassy is committed to assisting U.S. citizens to the extent possible, but not German's, Austrians, or Italians because your accent makes you sound angry and rude.  In addition, the Embassy’s ability to assist is limited, and dependent on the mood of the Embassy official.  Canadians should not even try (you know what you did) and our Marine Security Guards have been instructed to look for Molsen Stickers on your person.  You cannot pass yourself off as an Icelander.  Also, we don't like Icelanders either, but are not really sure why anymore.

5. U.S. citizens should note that the Embassy may vary its operating hours without advance notice because it is staffed by U.S. Federal Government Employees who, if an opportunity presents itself, will abandon their work immediately.  Please do not try to write a letter to your congressman to complain.  There is nothing anyone can do about it.  The US Constitution protects the rights of US government employees incompetence and guarantees them continued employment. 

6.  Services for U.S. citizens are available by appointment only.  Requests for an appointment may be made by e-mailing KhartoumConsular@state.gov, or by clicking on the link found on the following web page: http://sudan.usembassy.gov/service.html.  Please be advised that the email address above is full and the link will likely not work.  U.S. citizens may request emergency services at any time by calling the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, but the ability of the U.S. Embassy or the Consulate General in Juba to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency is limited.  Also, if Michel has the duty, she probably forgot to bring the phone home with her, so you will likely not get an answer.  We recommend you call the British Embassy.  They are too polite not to help you.

7. The U.S. Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum; tel. (249) 1-8701-6000.  However, we may move into the new Embassy that was recently built at any given moment because we cannot seem to pick a firm date for the move.  We recommend U.S. citizens drive around and locate what would appear to be a maximum security prison.  This is likely the U.S. Embassy or my house. 


Paige said...

AFter your post etc yesterday, I got right on the travelocity to dive where you told me to--or to check it out for the future. Can you believe that travelocity told me NO! No flight for you!


Together We Save said...

Oh my!!! Sharks!!

Mom in High Heels said...

I think if you swim with sharks you should get an entire meeting to talk about it.
Also, I've seen plenty of those toilets in France. Disgusting. I'm not even sure how to use one of those unless wearing a skirt and going commando. What is wrong with the French? They can't do better than the Sudanese? Really?

mo.stoneskin said...

I always fasten my seet belt.

Mala said...

Swim with sharks....use that bathroom???? Swim with deadly sharks....use that bathroom???

Here sharky, sharky.

darsden said...

bla bla bla...shark...what? did you say something????

You know I too had a worse than you shark encounter down at Turks and Caicos...he didn't have a big ole hammercan'tdoanything head shark...this was Jaws I tell ya and I looked like a seal to him!!!

Suzy said...

Didn't read the travel warning cuz it was too long so consider me on the first flight over and I'm guessing I'm going to die by a shark bite?

Jaime said...

if i swam with sharks, i'd throw that into every sentence too. and it would be my excuse to adjourn every court appearance for the next month or so!

OyaSophia said...

Hilarious - as usual!

Madam Le Consul said...

LOVE the travel warning! It is so, so, so what we want to really write instead of the dull blah that will make it to travel.state.gov. Brilliant!

Captain Dumbass said...

I could totally pass off as being from Washington state and your guards would NEVER KNOW! Muah ha ha haaaaa!

tera said...

Exactly what does Dumbass mean that he could "totally pass off as being from Washington state"?? I need to know so I can determine whether or not I need to be insulted.

As, screw it, I'm just going to be insulted for the hell of it.

As for travel to Sudan, since I hate flying, I vomit on boats, and I really hate sand in my shoes, I think I will wait to visit you until you come here. Which I assume you will eventually. Especially if I bribe you with Bakon Vodka and Little Debbie. :)

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rxBambi said...

I'm a little confused by that potty too, and I've peed in every hole in egypt (fyi).

swim with sharks. I did that. I didn't like it much. I was kinda scared he was gonna eat me. Bastard.

did you get my giftie yet???

Lorna said...

Your posts ALWAYS make me laugh. I really appreciate your gift of writing humor...next time show pics of the scary sharks!

The MomMa said...

This was a classic. Every USG employee should read it.

♥ Braja said...

You and I should do a signs post. Ha! That was a joke...ok no it wasn't.

OK I mean a post about funny signs. India's are perfectly ridiculous. We can have a sign off. Ha! I did it again. Frikkin' hilarious!! I am, I mean.....

blognut said...

Um... I need help understandin' that potty. It doesn't look right to me.

Jill said...

OMG - Coming from US Consulate Chennai, I'm about to pee my pants reading this.

You're hilarious. Frickin' frackin' hilarious!

Donna said...

Found you thru Diplopundit. We're posted in Beijing, where the potties definitely rival yours. I actually found myself thinking that was a mighty clean potty in your photo. This is all hilarious, and I'm bookmarking you, but as a fellow State Dept blogger, I have to wonder: how much longer til they pull the plug on you? Keep at it as long as you can, please. I'll be back.