The weak Syria visa stamp in my passport

Syria passport stamp
     You would think that for $131 I could get a decent-looking visa stamp in my passport. Alas, no. Did you know there is a Syrian consulate in Newport Beach, California? I can’t think of a more unlikely diplomatic post. When I think of Orange County, I don’t think of a dusty, less-than-prosperous Middle Eastern country, but maybe I am being too narrow-minded. Shopping! Celebrities! Sand! Sun! Surf! Syria!
     I wonder how the Syrian government decides who gets to work there. Typically such staff would toil in embassies in hellholes—I mean, less desirable locales—like Riyadh or Kuwait, but then there’s a chance to work in Newport Beach? And how many Syrians are in the area that this is necessary or what business interests are there? So many questions…
     Word on the street is that the Yemenis are scouting real estate for a consulate in Marin County.
     I always contend that the experience of dealing with a country’s embassy/consulate portends what the country will be like. In Syria’s case, I was told I could get a multiple entry visa, but they gave me a double. They were adamant that I had to specify which borders I was going to enter and exit from, but in the end it didn’t matter. They also said it would take 3-5 working days, but it turned out to be 11.
     Syria is going to be interesting.

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