S M F G · A Counter-Clockwise Trip Around The World

The Israeli stamp stigma, part 3

Nov 24th 2008
Amman from my rooftop

Amman from my rooftop

With my eyes and soul full with the magnificent beauty of Petra, I arrived in Amman with an early morning bus. Meeting with my host was incredibly easy, thanks to his organising skills, and I was couched before noon.

He is a German living in Amman, and he speaks Arabic. So I told him the whole story and asked him to translate the handwriting on my passport.

It says

He entered in Taba in November 19th 2008

Taba is the name of the border between Egypt and Israel. And for the Middle East this is equivalent to an Israeli stamp. It means that I went from Tel Aviv to Eilat, to Dahab, to Nuweiba and to Aqaba for nothing. Including the painful boat. Me not happy.

Dinner on the couch

Dinner on the couch

I spent the next days trying to figure out a solution. My first idea was asking to the Italian Embassy. They are supposed to be there for helping the Italians in Jordan. Maybe they can give me a new passport, or maybe they know a solution: I am not the first one for sure in such a situation. I found the place, I went there, and I spoke half an hour with the security guy through the intercom, because they wouldn’t allow me in. After that the guy actually let me in. There another person asked me what was the problem. Thus I told him that I had this thing on my passport, I asked if it is possible to have more than one passport —like in Germany or Britain— if there are temporary passports —like in Canada— but then I said «I could lose it …» and I suddenly remembered how it feels like being Italian.

They told me that this is a felony, this is Italian territory, you cannot say things like these, then they identified me, then the second guy said «Goodbye, I hope not to see you again». This is Italy. Nobody is going to help you —if you are not connected, of course—, and only a fool can think to tell the truth to a Government representative. The relations between State and citizens are never in bona fide.

What are they watching?!

What are they watching?!

And I had to discard the other options, like getting a random visa (a big one like the Indian or the Nepalese) and having them sticking it on top of my Egyptian stamp, because if I make it to Syria and then anything happens, I couldn’t rely on the Embassy who told me not to go!

I went to an internet spot and I booked a flight to Delhi. But on the same night I had the opportunity to meet the Gabibbo in a barber shop!

This post is filed under Asia, Jordan and tagged , , .

9 Responses

  1. cam says:

    “you are beautiful…wherever you are…”
    gorgeous places and photos….

  2. Ally says:

    Sad to inform you that Bettie Page has passed away last night!

    I tell you a story about the UK which sounds a bit like Italian crazy bureaucracy!

    When I first arrived here the first Thing I wanted to do was to open a bank account. This shouldn’t have been a problem, however when you open a bank account, as proof of identity, they ask you for a passport AND a telephone, gas, or electricity bill. Seem s reasonable… but for someone like me this turned to be difficult as I was living in a Hotel and still looking for a house! But then you think: Ok once I have a house where to live I will have a phone/gas/electricity contract. Then I will be able to open a bank account.
    Unfortunatelly when you apply for gas/electricity and a phone they ask you for a bank account number to make sure they get the money from you….

    So in a nutshell: you need a gas/electricity bill to open a bank account and you need a bank account to open a gas/electricity account! Basically any foreigner has no chance!

    Anyhow, at the end with the support of some nice collegue I have managed!


  3. cam says:

    tutto il mondo è paese!

  4. pt says:

    … tranne Marcon, Gaggio e Dese!

  5. buck! says:

    …o fora che istrana

  6. Società anonima di ingegneria says:

    Siamo perfettamente d’accordo per quanto riguarda Marcon…
    Ed anche se non lasciamo commenti, sappi che continuiamo a leggerti! :-)

  7. !aievtutolctuiu! says:

    ,and 2 are smiling around the world.

    ,spritz for everyBODY.

    Any plan for nEW yEAR’S eVE?

  8. A bit late, but you might be happy to know that Syrian border folks tend to not accept passports issued in Amman anyway. And when going to Syria you also need to make sure your entire stay in Israel is covered by a proper Jordanian visa…

    I’m still curious to know why the Egyptian wrote that in your passport if you didn’t go from Eilat to Taba over land.

    • pt says:

      Ciao Kasper!

      Actually I did enter in Taba from Eilat, but I did it with my identity card, I filled a form with photo and they put the visa on that paper. No exit stamp from Israel, no entry stamp in Egypt: my passport was still virgin.

      But at the exit they absolutely wanted to stamp me—that was OK, exit from Nuweba entering in Jordan—and somehow the guy couldn’t refrain from handwriting «He entered in Taba». I suppose it all has to do with the fact that I don’t speak Arabic …

      By the way, now I don’t have the problem any more: I only have a couple of pages left in this passport, I’ll go to Syria with a new one :)

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