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Jul. 31st, 2004 @ 06:32 am (no subject)
I got back from Calcutta tonight.

I can hardly bring myself to even do something as trivial as steal a diamond or go on a high speed car chase at the moment... i'm just incredibly tired.

I'll get into my Indian adventure later, but these last few days remind me of that one time in '96 when i was cornered in that marketplace in Yemen, and those Islamic extremists wanted the golden Idol I had excavated from that dig outside of Kurachi... Apparently it was a piece of evidence that called into question the authenticity of some holy book. I didn't know which one, but really, who cares?

What I did know was that it was 26 ounces of gold... that's thirteen thousand, five hundred and fourteen dollars and two cents if i melted it down... At the time i didn't even want to dream what it would go for as is.

Anyway, I was running from these three guys, and they wanted to kill me because i know the "truth". I suspect they really just wanted the idol for themselves.

I was stranded in this huge marketplace in Sayhut, and I stuck out like a sore thumb. I suppose my oxford shoes and button down shirt weren't the local style. I didn't have many options, but in a fit of genius, i stole and donned a burkha, and pretended I was a local woman trying to buy fruit...

This may have seemed like a clever ruse, expect my Arabic was a bit rusty... I used a garbled East Indian dialect figuring it might work... BOY was i wrong... the shopkeeper was going to rat me out. Either that or sell me something i didn't need. I wasn't quite sure which it was at the time, but i soon found out.

I survived unmolested, and the shopkeeper got his way in the end... I bought a small bag of dates and a gourd, and I got them at the bargain price of only $77.24 U.S. and a gold timex watch.

I got away from the marketplace with my head intact however. i was saved by a complete stranger. A man named Fahim who apparently had a problem with these men who were after me picked me up in an old Yugo and gave me a ride to the docks. It was a long drive through the dusty streets, but as he dropped me off, i thanked him profusely, and offered to give him my last one hundred dollar U.S. bill (It had been hidden in my shoe as emergency money) He declined politely and from what i understood, wished me a safe journey. I owe Fahim one, and i hope one day i can pay him back.

I hid the idol in my new gourd and smuggled it out of the city, onto a small charter boat which took me across the Gulf of Aden to Somalia in exchange for my slightly stinky c note, and there i met up with an old UN peacekeeper friend of mine who arranged transport for me back to Canada. Thanks Luke, I owe you one.

Anyway, that's how i got home...

Once I made it back I sold the idol to a private collector in Toronto for $23,800, which allowed me to finance my expedition to Singapore that March, though i'll save that one for another night.
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