Nusaybin Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 26 › view all entries

A car signals at me when im walking down the street, and off we go to Nusaybin.

At the border I get the stamp and foolishly I think Im in. At the next checkpoint they say "No visa, go to istanbul or ankara." Im persistent. The officer has temperament. "Ok, mister." He is sending a fax to the general in Damascus, right now. The transit visa is 16 dollars, and last for three days.

We play shah (chess) and make. I make friends. Chai, ciggarettes. Ciggarettes, chai.

Finally they call me.

Stepping in to the customs office is like entering a movie. Shouting, sighs. The officer has temperament. I caused them extra work they are not interested in.

Eventually I get through, and to the officers big relief,  I walk out of there.

Welcome! Welcome to Syria, mister!

The next checkpoint is in a different spirit. Do you have anything strange, unusual in your bag?  Are you sure? Answer me truthfully, Sir.


Ok, welcome. Welcome to Syria, mister.

I get a hitch on a motorcycle into Al-Qamichili.

I try to explain, that I want to go to the road that leads to Damascus. They dont understand. And im going around around on a motorcycle. The sun is going down. We stop to talk to someone that knows english.

Ooooh noooo! The busstation! People, children gathers around me, twenty, thirty.

I stop a few cars. Buy now I figured out what direction Damascus is in. A car stops, good english. Armenian he says he is, christian (doesn't matter to me). I explain, im tired. I give in for his helpfullnes. He is gonna drive me to the road  but betrays me and drives to the busstation pay the bus and puts 150 syrian pounds in my pocket. It's friday and the banks are closed. I got 200 pounds in my pocket and I dont even know what that equals in euro, plus the 150 he gives me. I wish I had more then a transit visa, the country seems like a lot of fun.

"Is it dangerous in this country after dark, I ask the Armenian. No, it's very safe. You can go out alone after dark and nothing will happen to you. Dont listen to the newspaper, IT'S ALL LIES!"

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photo by: nathanphil