The best way to travel between
The taxi drivers are an ambitious bunch, always looking for ways to make extra money without doing much extra work. The easiest way for them to do so is to fill up on certain goods on one side of the border at a cheap price and then unload them on the other side for a profit. From
This small-scale smuggling never really bothered me, to be honest. It usually doesn’t take up any of our time, except at the designated purchase point before the border (which can be used as a bathroom break, anyway). The only way in which it starts to infringe on our convenience is when they ask to be paid their $10 per seat ahead of time. This means that they don’t have ready cash on hand to purchase the goods and want to use your money to do so. We always refuse to pay the whole amount before the requisite service has been rendered – it’s just common sense – and most taxi drivers don’t press the issue.
On Monday night, we returned home from
At last, at last, we were on our way again. This smuggling run was taking longer than usual and we were anxious to get home at the end of a long period of traveling. It was already at night, with a tedious border crossing and many kilometers still ahead of us. As we finally finished passport control on the Syrian side and prepared to get back in the taxi for the last time, Jeremy reiterated our agreement to be dropped off at a specific place in
Notwithstanding this setback, once we were on our way again I was sure we were on the home stretch. There were less than 100 kilometers of good highway remaining between us and
Jeremy kept insisting that he return to the main highway. In the end, he called his contact back and canceled whatever drop-off had been arranged. He did, however, pull over and switch drivers with some random guy who turned out to be his brother. I’m sure that’s not part of company policy, either. And as it turned out, we didn’t even get dropped off at the main depot – the driver stopped a kilometer or two short and said it was the end of the line. When we pointed out that we weren’t even close to the depot yet, he just shrugged his shoulders. There was nothing to do but get out of the car.
To be honest, I think this small-scale smuggling is starting to bother me.