We shared a bus back from Beirut with Igors from Latvia. Igors is an executive in the airline industry with a little time on his hands which he has decided to use by travelling the world. I don’t think Igors will take offence if I say that he is using the worldwide downturn to his advantage and that I think he need’s a bit of head space or even to escape from the high flying world of aviation executiveness. Even though Igors has two daughters at home in Latvia he kept laughing at me and the fact I was travelling with my two children, he made it clear to me more than once that he thought I was nuts
We were all heading back to Damascus, us back to Baramka for another couple of days before heading to Jordan, Igors to the bus station in south Damascus to catch a bus to Amman.
Igor’s had hired a car in Syria, which is not for the faint hearted. He decided to travel from Damascus up north towards Homs and Palmyra. A lot of this is through very badly signposted and very monotonous desert which makes it very hard to find your way. Igor’s told me he was lonely and lost in the desert and when he saw some hitch-hikers, of which there are many, he decided to pick them up, it happened to be three kids, indeterminate ages, they might have been from 7 to 10 or from 10 to 13 years old. They spoke absolutely no english and sat mute in the back of his hire car as he drove along the road, his attempts at communication were met with noncommittal nods and smiles the odd peal of laughter at something he said but nothing that made any sense, so he drove on and on. He was getting worried at this stage, he had driven maybe 40 kilometers with 3 minors in the back of his car, he couldn’t understand them, couldn’t just drop them off in the middle of the desert, didn’t know what to do and at this stage he was beginning to think that every bedouin driving with his family in his four wheel drive were giving him strange murderous looks. Igors was blonde, blue eyed and very european looking, he would have stood out like a toilet brush at a toothbrush convention. He continued driving for what he said was at least another 30 to 40 kilometers when one of the kids in the back motioned for him to stop which he did and the three of them got out of the car and walked off into the desert at a spot that to Igors looked exactly like the desert had for the last two hours, these were the last hitch-hikers Igors picked up.