Gilded Serpent presents...
Rhea's Travel to Syria .
3 - Surrounded by Men in the Airport
Rhea of Athens
from Part 2
At 2:00 am there is a loud knocking at my door. It's
the handsome affable guy.
ready now." I'm hiding my body behind the door as I stick
my head around. I also have the trolley for the suitcases blocking the
door. (Clever girl, eh? You think it's the first time I've
traveled alone in the Middle East?) Now I pull the sleepy diva. "Bukra
(tomorrow) morning. Thank you." And close the door. Thank
God. I had almost been looking forward to getting that chic
black dress left behind at my favorite haunt after Khan Khalili,
the Ramses Hilton Shopping Mall, and re-visiting the perfume bazaar.
But, oh well. Maktub (fate).
I wake to
my own alarm and begin to prepare myself. 45 minutes later,
the sleepy girl who promised to wake me at 7:00 arrives.
"Sorry!" she says and I can see she has come to me before
washing her face or drinking coffee.
Of course, I forgive her. I forgive everyone now.
Of course, I still don't have the visa, but I am optimistic.
trip downstairs reveals my affable, debonair officer who commands
another to open the passport section and issue me the stamps
and visa. "20$" "20E" "OK" "No, ok." It is worth more,
and he reluctantly gives me change.
do I have the visa and the passport in hand and am on my way
up to transit to get my suitcases, coat, etc. that I am stopped
by every 1st level, 2nd level, 3rd
level official. "Passport please. Visa please." Oh, come
on guys but I am in a good mood now and let them all
I'm sure they're checking out my age and marital status.
As I go upstairs
to congratulations from all upstairs personnel, I am approached
by a military officer. "Passport please. Visa please." He
retains them and informs me that I cannot be in transit as
I have my visa for Damascus, but must depart immediately for Damascus. "But my bags, coat, money, allergy medicine
are in the hotel room" I protest. He is adamant "You must
go now." Although it may seem Kafka-ish,
if you've seen all the Egyptian comedies that I've seen with
and Yousra, it seemed warmly familiar.
I was laughing. "No, no. My suitcases." "No, no. You go."
Etc. We are now surrounded by upstairs and downstairs
personnel, all competing to explain the situation.
He has my arm and is pulling me. The crowd moves with
us. Abruptly, the phone rings. Someone gives it to him.
I suspect it's the dapper agent downstairs.
he saw me first. The official drops my arm like a hot potato,
relinquishing my documents and scurries off. I collect my
things and go downstairs, holding my passport and visa in
my hand like a flag. I am escorted to the exit and put in
a taxi. Only $10 (okay, euros but forget it already).
are handed to me and I go to the hotel recommended to me by
the gentleman at the ticket desk at Syrian Airways. I approach
Damascus wondering what fate will bring me now. Tune in next
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Rhea’s Travel to Syria
… Part 2 – The Airport Nightmare
Too bad they didn’t have any friends in America.
Rhea's Travels to Syria, Part
1, The Delusion is Shattered
looked like a Middle Eastern attempt at Las Vegas and Disneyland,
upscale discotheques where attractive Moldavian that aforementioned
familiar tributary, than go on to another one.
My Vision of the Desert Archidance
by Piper Reid Hunt, Ph.D.
I had heard about trance dancing before, but had never
seen it in an authentic context.
Undercover Belly Dancer in Iraq
name is Meena. Until a month ago, I was a professional belly dancer
in Phoenix, Arizona.
Art, Activism &
Magic: Krissy Keefer In Her Own Words by Debbie Lammam
dancers are not expected to think and speak.