Saturday, February 26, 2011


After 11 hours up in the air, I landed in Khartoum for another of my 70-day work rotation. While the flight was smooth, I was beat after cooping up for so long in the flight. My only wish was to get through the immigration ASAP and pick up my luggage then head straight back to bed. Jet-leg was totally kicking in full blast. My body and my brain were shutting down simultaneously.

Like a zombie I dragged myself to the end of a very long queue at the immigration. There must be like a good 8 immigration desks, but only 2 were manned. We were inching on miserably slow. It took forever, it seemed. Clearly they were a few officers milling around but none ready to get behind the desk.

Then my prayer answered. "Oh praise the Lord!" One officer was assigned to man another desk to ease the flow. And he was getting ready to work on the desk marked Non-Sudanese. "Oh praise the Lord, indeed!"

All the foreigners in line were all getting excited and alert, myself included, suddenly from a dopey sloth turning into a leopard stalking it's prey, stealth, vigilant, quick and ready to dash in for the kill.

As soon as the officer nodded his head signaling the opening of the new counter, a few foreigners galloped gallantly from the back of the line to the front of the new desk. Soon more followed, among them Sudanese. I was about to made my move when an officer came over to the line telling the foreigners at the very front of the new line, "This line is for Sudanese only". I could see from the baffling expression on the faces of the foreigner, saying:"But, but the sign says for Non-Sudanese!" Dejectedly, and most probably pissed as well, they moved back to the end of the my queue.

Welcome to Sudan.

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