Saturday, September 11, 2010

Syrian Embassy Take 1

So the other day I attempted to obtain my Syrian visa for my upcoming trip. Stupidly I forgot 2 important things: it was still Ramadan, and my Arabic is still shit. All the embassies in Riyadh are located in the DQ (Diplomatic Quarter) and one must pass through security checkpoints in order to get into the area. Riyadh is pretty great in that all the embassies are located here- it is an ideal place to travel from, and makes getting a visa pretty easy. Unfortunately, the Syrian embassy was not operating under regular embassy hours. My driver had dropped me off outside the embassy, and gone to park the car before I realized that they weren't going to let me in. The security man outside just get shaking his head and yelling at me in Arabic. I kept pointing at my wrist miming my absent wristwatch and then rising my shoulders up trying to convey the universal sign for "what time are they open?" More Arabic yelling- more confusion on my part. Luckily, my Indian driver Chandoo speaks decent English so I passed my mobile phone to the angry man to figure it out. It is now currently Eid and all embassies are closed down until the 14th, so I will have to attempt this again- I'm sure it will be more eventful than this trip!!!

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