How to travel without passport???
As said before, my boss had postponed our trip to Sharm several times, so I thought it I could go to the Mugamma (also called the gates of hell by some foreiners. this is the building everyone of us non Egyptians has to go to in order to get or prolong our visa. If any one of you read the Asterix episode where he has to get a specific paper from an authority, you know what I am talking about. Actually I am quite sure Gossigny went to the Mugamma before writing this episode!). So anyway, I went to the Mugamma to get my re-entry visa, as I am going to Europe for Christmas. The lady behind the counter told me I would have to leave my passport there until the next morning. Ok, no problem. On the next morning, I had some difficulties to get out of bed, and since our trip was only schedualed for the next day, I decided to pick up my passport the next day before leaving.
Well, nice idea. The only thing I did not think of, was that the next day was friday, meaning "our sunday", all government places are closed! Yes, very intelligent Ms. Kolbe!
Maybe as little explaination: In order to travel through Egypt, you (foreiners as well as Egyptians) need to take your identification along. Only on the way from Cairo to Sharm there not less than 7 check points, stopping cars and buses, checking the identifications of the people travelling. Yhis hapens because of security reasons, so they say. Since the bombing in Sharm they sometimes even make you get out with your bag and letting a dog smell it for explosive.
So here I was, without passport wanting to go to Sharm. I told my boss that I wanted to take the risk and go anyway. Afterall my passport was with Egyptian authorities and in worse case they would get me out of the car and send me back to Cairo with the next bus going into this direction. In the very worse case this would mean going until the last check point before Sharm el Sheikh (about 6 hours), being sent back, another 6 hours, going to the Mugamma in the morning, picking up my passport, get the next bus to Sharm, another 6 hours. After all, I have done worse in my AEGEE times ;-)
So we started our journey, it was getting dark and I thought it might be a good idea to pretend sleeping at each check point.... and, oh wonder, it worked. The two guys had to show their identification at every check point, we (Sarah, genuinly sleeping and me) were left alone. Only one office about midway asked the guys about our nationality. they answered :"Belguim and German" Officer (a bit uncertain): "and they are your wives or... something?" guys:"yes" and we could go. The guys did not even lie "something" can mean anything, also "colleague", even though I am sure this is not what the officer had in mind ;-)