Its a long hard road...

Into Hell, as it may be.

Ah. the sweet cyber world again.

Arrived in Baghdad four days ago, I want to leave now.
It was the toughest ride I've had yet.

Y'see, this month is Ramadhan, and us muslim types obviously have to fast, and although a traveller has a legal and holy excuse to break fast, I preferred not to, since that would entail fasting at some other later date, and I am too lazy for that.
Anyway, We left Amman at 1 am local jordanian time, arrived at the jordanian border four hours later after an eventless journey four hours later..
Left the Jordanian borders in under 45 mins, and entered this flea-infested garbage dump that I call home.

At the Iraqi border the guy did not even give us a second look after the driver handed him 1000 ID (70 cents), I took the passports to stamp them, the dude told me to go check the health-office, Cool.
The "Health Office" is in reality a small concrete kiosk where you pay 2000 ID (1.4 $) to get a paper saying that you are free from all venereal, sexually and asexually transmitted diseases! I mean, even if you were oozing pus and slime out of every orifice in your body, if you pay the man, you're as fine as they come.
ok, time for the queue: and this is one helluva queue: in this queue you show the dude your Health-Office pass and then you stand in line waiting to get your passport stamped.
Ok.
then, as usual, with us being Iraqi and all, the guys behind me started jumping queue, then a fight almost broke out, it was settled after "Abu Samra" (a U.S. Soldier, African-American Origin) came inside shouting: "HEY HEEEEY WHATS THIS ALL ABOUT?" at this point everyone turned into the docile lambs we are. ah.

ok, after a couple more bribes here and there we crossed the Iraqi Border Check Point in under 3 hours.

so what does that add up to so far?
4+3+1 hour extra for expenses = 8 hours.
in "Normal" conditions, the road to Baghdad takes about 5 hours.

it took us 13.

THIRTEEN HOURS.

from 9 am till 10 pm.

after an hour on the road, we saw cars coming back our way on OUR side of the road, after a few exchanged hand-signals, we learned some bad news.
American CheckPoint.

Now, a checkpoint is not what you see on tv, where the soldiers diligently search each vehicle for smuggled stuffs, nooooooo.
in reality, the soldiers just sit their vehicles on the road, and stay put. till they get orders otherwise. which never happens before sunfall.

so the driver decided to take a detour thru the desert, in order to save time and fuel...
we entered sand-dune coutnry, now i'm telling ya, I was riding in an Chevy Suburban, and it was barely able to avoid sinking in the sand, I saw a couple more cars, broken down, owners waving, but you never know, maybe they were just another bunch of hijackers.. no risks worth taking there.
after 40 mins of this crap, with sand filling every cavity in my body, we finally hit the tarmac again.

This time to get stuck in an another American CheckPoint just before Fallujah, where obviously some idiot thought it wise to block both sides of the four-lane highway with a couple of Hummers and Bradleys..

Thousands of cars. Thousands. as far as the eye can see.

We sat under the scorching sun, the drivers turned off their Air Conditioning cuz the car couldnt take it anymore, time goes ever so slowly when ur thirsty, hungry, and with a couple of thousand exhausts fuming in your immediate vicinity.

we broke fast in the desert, a few good people from Fallujah brought us Dates and Water, a little portion for each person, we were numbering at least three thousand there. at least. God bless them.

After Sunfall, the U.S. Patrol running the checkpoint hurriedly cleared out for fear or attack, they didnt check less than half of the cars, and even the ones that were (mine included), they sufficed by looking at us, and then waving us on.

I was riding with my uncle's family. Women, Little Kids. My Grandmother..

and the friggin idiots were "searching" for insurgents by looking at our faces.

Frig it.

You kinda have a picture of how I feel, right? a bit incoherent tho, but I'm still incoherent. the weather here is horrible. we returned home to find it covered in 3mm-thick dust from the biblical sandstorm that hit baghdad three months ago.. no running water, and no electricity.

at least the phones work:

but not the cell phones, our life-line to the outside world.
Got another story to tell you bout that, but at a later time.

when I get my s*it sorted out, soon I hope!

Thank you everyone for checking in on me,
Hesho :), Bill, Mucha, Downfall -long time no see!-,Cile, CyberHouri, my new visitor Slo -Welcome to Then Some!-, Khalid -2bad I didnt meet you again, around new year maybe! inshallah!-

and again, Mucha! thank you! No luck fixing my old Iraqna number, I'll buy a new one 2morrow inshallah, and I'll be calling soon! Love you lots!

Now, gotta go, too much stuff to do, one hour to sundown. one hour to water.

God bless you all.

Cheers
and THEN SOME!
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