Middle Eastern Adventure – Day 1

I woke up at 8 am after only about 4 hours of sleep, showered, and managed to cram 2 months worth of stuff into one backpack.

Patricia picked me up and drove me and Dr. Berg to the Frankfurt airport, where everything went smoothly. Then…Dr. Berg cut off all his hair! He seemed really nonchalant about his first haircut in 24 years, but I was excited. The flight was uneventful and we arrived with little difficulty.

The trouble started when we tried to leave. Passport control told me "VISA" and sent me away. I got out of line and tried to figure out what to do. I decided to ask a friendly airport employee.

ME: "Excuse me, could you tell me whether I have to buy a tourist visa if I'm only passing through Kuwait?"
GUY: *Points vaguely to the left*
ME: So I should go over there and they will tell me if I need a visa?
GUY: "Visa"

So I wander over there and find one billion people waiting for visas with no apparent order at all. I first get in line, but then notice a numbering system, so I wander around for about 5 minutes, then finally ask a guy where I can get a number. He just grunted and pointed, but I found it. And I got number 508. They were on number 340. I looked at all the people standing in line and decided to ask them what they were doing. After conducting a short survey, I learned that they didn't really know, but were just hoping it would be faster.

Then I decided to try to leave again without the visa and it almost worked…but then I got stopped and was told "VISA" about 5 more times. So I went back and took a seat, defeated. I asked the girl next to me how long she'd been waiting and she said over two hours! But she'd been observing and collecting discarded numbers, and she gave me one! I got bumped up to 367 and it didn't take me too long after that. Bless you, kind lady!

After that we came to the base where I turned in my passport so that the Air Force could take it back to the airport and have the visa removed. How 'bout that?

So then we went over to Ali Al Salem where I had a nice bed in a transient trailer. It was warm and quiet and I slept fine. This morning I was shocked to discover something I had long forgotten…sunshine! Blinding, wonderful, sunshine!
It's about 65 or 70 degrees now and it feels lovely.

Tonight I go back to get my visa-less passport and then I should be free to try to catch a flight.

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