Saturday, 4 September 2010

Turkey Again

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted here. My college and its dormitory are closed for two months, so I came to Turkey with the Turkish students. The trip was definitely not boring, but bus trips through Syria never are; we took about five different buses, the first of which was at least eight hours late, most of them were far too small, and one of them wouldn't start and had to be pushed. The Syrian police love hassling people, but we eventually managed to get through the borders. It has gotten harder since the niqab was banned in Syrian schools. The police are always extremely suspicious of me, wearing Arab clothes and carrying a Canadian passport; they think my passport is fake and tell me I'll have to spend days in the police station waiting for permission to travel through Syria.  But they let us all in eventually. As usual, none of us used a bathroom the whole trip, bus station bathrooms are that bad.

We saw two of the Syrian border officers get into a fistfight in the border station as we were crossing into Syria from Jordan in the wee hours of the morning. They had to be separated several times by another border officer; every time he moved away from them they would start punching each other again.  There were many bus loads of travellers lined up in the border station waiting, and they had been waiting for a long time, but the police mostly stood around smoking and ignoring them.  And then the fight happened.  I don't know what was going on.

I spent a week and a half in Ankara, and have been in Istanbul for about a week. I love Istanbul and wish I could spend more time here.

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