Home of Muhamad.net

It’s about Life

Home of Muhamad.net header image 2

Customs Agents and Humor

September 29th, 2007 · 1 Comment

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Your typical interaction with A Customs/Border Agent is (hopefully) mild and brief. Your goal is to only answer questions with relevant information and keep it short and simple. Answers that involve vague terms are generally not recommended – i.e. if they ask if asking if you’re bringing in any illegal substances, “not really” is an incomplete answer. Humor is not recommended nor is being conversational. This is especially true when visiting certain foreign nations. When we entered Saudi, we had a unique experience.

My wife is Lebanese (born in Lebanon), and my parents emigrated from Syria in the early 1970s to the USA. Recently, there’s been quite a bit of bit blood between the two (Syria/Lebanon) for various political reasons. Before this fallout, there was much interaction between the locals, traveling between the two countries was very common (still occurs, just not as common) and many people had many family and friends on both sides.

In any case, we were speaking with the customs agent at the airport in Jeddah, KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). Between Arab nations, regardless of what passport you hold, you are often asked where you come from (which country). Since I did the talking he assumed we were all Syrian. I then said “My sister and I Syrian, but my wife is Lebanese” (in Arabic of course). He then smiled and proclaimed “aahhhh the peace has come” (literally translating it “the accord has come”). After that it was all smiles, he stamped our passports and sent us through.

Tags: Conversations · Random

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Bishr // Oct 17, 2007 at 10:24 am

    When I read your title, I thought you were being sarcastic – I didn’t think there was any humor at border crossings!

Leave a Comment