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Travel update

The original post can be found here.

Okay, in short, it's good. I got an emergency passport and am now at Kuwait Airport awaiting my flight. in long, it was not easy. As we got to the embassy, the PAO Lieutenant and I had to negotiate our way in, because the passport place was really only open from 1-3pm today, not 9-11 as well as we'd been told, and, of course, the other 4 days I had budgeted for passport acquisition in Kuwait had happened to be embassy-closed days. As we were explaining the situation to a guard at the front, a fat blond state dept woman with 2" fingernails (with glitter on them) demanded to know what our "emergency " was and how it could possibly override (a) the fact that the embassy needed their 4-day holiday weekend, and (b) the fact that she wanted us to get out of her way so she'd be at the front of the line to get in.

Anyway, we got in, and were told that (a) we needed to go back into the city to get photos, and (b) the ultimate decision would be up to a State Dept officer, who the desk worker (NOT a native english speaker) would relay our story to, but with whom we were NOT allowed to talk directly. I was really worried about this part, given the fact that the woman who had taken the huge attitude with us outside appeared to work in that same office.

Anyway, after 2 hrs getting the pics (they're not horrible considering) and another 30 mins negotiating my way BACK into the embassy at 1245 (was originally going to have to wait in the back of a 50-person line), it took an hour and a half and $97 US before I was the proud owner of a temporary US passport. I have forms and a signed State Dept letter that I can use when I get home to get a new, real passport free of additional charge.

So....bullet dodged. I think my telling them that I was a journalist is what put it over the edge in my favor -- that and a LOT of prayer from back home :-)

My flight from Kuwait to Amman is delayed by forty minutes, so I'm having some Break-Lunch-inner, as every restaurant int he city has been closed for Ramadan all day, but in the terminal by the flights McDonald's is open.

Should be on my way in a couple of hours. I have a 2:30 flight over Saudi to Jordan, 3 hours between flights in Amman (it'll actually be about 2 after this delay), a 45 minute flight to Tel Aviv, and then about 27 hours in Israel. I have a hotel on the Med, so I plan to be getting sun tomorrow before heading to the airport about 7:30 or 8pm for my 12:30am flight.

All, at this point, is well -- except for my still-missing backpack. I really want a new one of those for Christmas.


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At 1:34 PM, Anonymous van flanigan said...

Yeah Jeff! I think it would have been easier to get a pair of ruby won't be long now! Safe travels...



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