Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Funkengroovin - "Stambs"

In less than two weeks Doggie and VB return to Cairo. It's a repeat of what we've gone through with our dogs many times before, but it does not get easier. Regardless of where you are, transporting a pet is a major hassle, mostly due to red tape.

Flying pets out of Cairo, is more insane than flying pets out of Baku, or Abu Dhabi. VB discovered this fact, this past summer, when she was told the certificate swearing her dog had been vaccinated in December 2007 (within the past year), signed by the local town vet, the Connecticut State vet, and recognized by her local Cairo vet, was pretty much invalid, at least to the concerned Egyptian authorities. Suffice it to say, transporting a pet, anywhere outside the USA, either to or from, involves blackmail. It's a shakedown of substantial emotional and petty monetary proportions. VB says, just put your fucking hand out and get it over with, like they do in Baku. It's obvious, easy, and gets the message across loud and clear. No one will question customs authorities once they've been met with a proper extortion, and truly intimidating welcome.

VB received a certified letter from the local vet in Cairo, stating that Lotus was in good health, and her vaccinations were up to date. She was told to take this letter to Animal Village, at the airport, within 24 hours of departure. VB called the airport, trying to get connected to the Animal Village personnel to no avail. It's always good to know where you're going, before you head out. Plus, it also helps to know exactly what documents are needed, and if the pet needs to be present, as well. More scam artists, came out of the woodwork as more phone calls were made. "For a small fee, I can help you." Actually, no one VB had talked to had direct knowledge of Animal Village, but they had heard about it. It was like a phantom place; a place people spoke of, but no one really knew about. But again, "For a small fee, I can help you."

So, VB consulted someone, with connections to someone else in the higher regions of government authority, who is knowledgeable of animal matters . She was told that the certificate from the USA was useless; the certificate from the Cairene vet was useless; that she needed to get "stambs" (the ones from the vaccine bottles) in order to get Lotus through Egyptian customs for export. She was provided with a name, and number of someone who could help her.

VB contacted this person. For a fee of 200 LE, VB was provided with a passport, complete with all the necessary, vaccination "stambs." Let VB remind you, readers: Our dog already had the necessary vaccinations. It wasn't as if we were trying to get away without them. We just didn't have the damn "stambs!"

Below are the sights from VB's trip to the pet passport operation.

How did the "stambed" passport work out for VB and Doggie?
Stay tuned to find out.

(Below): A scene from the USA.

R.E.M. on Letterman - Bad Day

1 comment:

  1. The scene from the US made me laugh.

    Don't you just love all the red tape. We have all the 'stambs' in Kitty's vacination booklet. Obviously an obsession they have in the ME with 'stambs'. Funny enough my little one wanted to know yesterday 'Why doesn't Kitty come on holiday with us'.