August 5, 2009

World Tour: Egyptian Escape

My, what a month, well a few months. After crossing over into PPK controlled Turkey Matt decided that we should try to get to Saudi Arabia, which sounded fine (I've always wanted to visit Riyadh) until Matt told us* that one of his old floor hockey buddies from the fifth grade was being held in a prison for telling a joke that was so bad that it, "Upset Allah."
In Arabic it's:

وكم عدد المسلمين أنه لا يأخذ من التغيير على ضوء المصباح?
فقط ويعلم الله فاذا كانت خفيفة تتوهج من انها سوف المصباح من الله, الا انه سيقرر اذا كان لدى كثير من الناس, وكيف يحل محل ضوء المصباح.

It roughly translates to:

Q: How many followers of Muhammad does it take to replace the light of the lamp.
A: Only God knows if the glowing light will end and he will decide whether many people or few will replace the light of the lamp and how to replace the light of the lamp.

Berk figured if we ride in produce trucks through Iran to Bushar we can take a ship to Qatar, from there Matt's contacts with in Saudi Arabia would be able to get us to the prison outside of Tabuk, we would have to get Robert the rest of the way. Instead, I bribed an official at the Van airport in Turkey to put us on a cargo plane outside of Medina. In Medina, Berk, in Matt's words, "Kicked some major ass and found a killer Malibu," to rent at the Avis at the airport.

During the five hour trip Matt and Berk bought so many firearms that they had to start selling them out of our trunk. For my pains, I was allowed to drive all the way to the prison. When we were about an hour outside of the jail, Matt yelled, "Hey Robert." It turned out not to be Robert, however, twenty minutes latter we found Robert hitchhiking.

Robert didn't tell us how he got out. Berk says that Saudi guards have short attention spans and become annoyed quickly when a prisoner, "just sits there like a lump on a log." Matt replied, "Knowing Rob, he purposely got too into the spirit of the whole thing and ruined all the fun." To which Rob stoically smirked and continued driving.

After crossing the Egyptian/Saudi border we arrived at the Suez Canal shortly after midnight the next day, which was yesterday. so, today we had a picnic in Al-Azhar park and are currently lounging poolside at the Havana Hotel.

*Remember that farmer that helped us get through Turkey? Well his deranged son, Berk, who speaks English, Farsi and Arabic, decided to tag along. Let me rephrase that, I can't seem to shake him and Matt keeps going back to camp at night to get him.

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