Digging up the junkyard
It's three years ago, I talked to a Palestinian guy next to me on the flight
from Amman of Jordan to Cairo, Egypt. He told me he's going to Libya for
job training. The plane was descending to Cairo Airport.Suez Canal was
far below our eyes. He looked at the shining water surface with the face
of anxious and exited for the future. In Amman, I met a French young man
who worked at Cairo. Ah, I also recall short talk with Japan's ODA person
who stayed in Syria for archeological research aid. As mention to Syria,
I remember a Syrian student who I met at a medical college in Ukraine.
That's four years ago. With talking to them I get interested in their countries
or home towns. Then I get desire to visit there. Well, but I don't need
to be haste. I can go there anytime.
But it hadn't passed even few years after that, conflicts were happen in
the countries. It made me giving up to visit there. I worry about the people
whom I mentioned. And I also shocked as a traveler. If I'll have no chance
to visit the countries any more.
Through that I learned the lesson "The world is changing every minute" If I have a place to go, don't put it off to later. However the thought makes a long waiting list of destination in my mind.
For me Iran was one of the "must go" place. "OK, My next
destination will be Iran. But wait a minute. I can't visit Iran. Cos I got Israeli stamp on my passport" Anyway I checked it. Iranian embassy's HP ... didn't mention it.
Japan's foreign ministry's site ... said nothing about it. What I found
was hundreds of rumors on the traveller's blogs. Finally I decided to go
with my self belief "Israeli stamp affects to Iran's immigration?
Must not be happen"
However on the departure day, at the check-in counter of Narita Apt, I
was asked "You don't have Israeli stamp on your passport, do you?"
"Ah, Yeah, actually I do ..." I said. "Sorry sir. With the
stamp, we can't take you on board in the worst case" "Yeah, I
know about the stamp. And I looked it up. Then I ended up it doesn't matter
at all" "Well, sir ... you may say OK. But in case your entry
is refused, our company will be subject to a penalty. You know?" "Oh
..." I pinched out from the check-in line and taken over from a ground
staff to another. Now the story going to the wrong direction. They explained
me many negative possibilities in the worst case, damage for the airline,
possibility of penalty to me, restraint at immigration and so on. It seemed
like a leading suggestion to me. It recalled me the experience of "immigration
refused" at some airport long time ago. The disappointment in the
returned flight is still trauma to me. Finally, I gave up the travel. My
two week travel in Iran turned into a day trip to Narita airport.
Now here is the rest of the story. A few months later, I did visited Iran.
Eventually I could talk to Iran embassy person and was told it's no problem
entering Iran with Israeli stamp. So I bought a air ticket for the exact
same flight by the same airline to the last time. At the check-in counter,
again, I got the same question. To avoid a complicated matter, I didn't
talk to much there this time. Then just straight forward to the boarding
gate. At the long moving walk I saw the face I knew on the opposite lane.
The ground staff who suggest me a couple of months ago. I covered my face
with a boarding pass bent my upper body forward for hiding behind the hand
belt. What are you doing, Fumi? You are client, aren't you?
The visa on arrival issued smoothly at Imam Khomeini Apt in Tehran. During the travel, my passport pages were leafed through a hundred times, although it's trouble-free.
Through the case I thought about Internet once again. The most troublesome
thing was tons of junk information while I was searching the fact of Israeli
stamp matter. Blogs looked like written in certainty.However the writers
had never experienced actually or they had just heard about it. About 90%
of the information was copy & paste stuff like that. I myself have
always tried to write ambiguous information as it was on this site. Like
Israeli immigration issue. However even the ambiguous expression was noisy
to me at the stand point of the person who look up the truth. Let's say
the uncertain information was 9%. It means 99% was just a rumor. So it's
really tiresome searching a piece of truth from tons of junk information.
We believe Internet makes our society more convenient. But I think, in
some part, it makes the world more inconvenient. I pictured myself who
is digging up the junkyard. "So why don't you just believe official
announcement from one sauce?" Apparently it's easier way. But it's
dangerous, possible to believe wrong information. After all the best way
is to be train the technique for digging up the junkyard.
" Israel's wall " Beit Jara, West Bank PT 2010