A story by Laleh Chini:
First Published: Oct.18.2018
23 years ago, my husband, our 6-year-old son, and I flew to Turkey to pay a visit.
We toured beautiful Istanbul and Ankara for around ten days. To return to Iran, we decided to go by bus so we could see many parts of Turkey and Iran on the way.
The border was like an airport and there were more than 10 buses and many cars waiting in line to be checked. All the passengers were supposed to stay in the terminal.
People had their luggage in line and sat on benches, chairs and some on the floor waiting for their bus to come out of customs.
90 percent of the terminal was filled with Iranian people. A couple approached us and started a conversation: “Hi, how are you? What brought you to Turkey?”
They complimented each one of us and tried to get friendly. They seemed like a nice and normal couple.
Then the couple asked us: “Looks like you don’t have any suitcase.“
My husband said: “We were touring and a carry-on was enough for us.”
The couple continued: “Now that you don’t have any luggage, do you mind passing this handmade Turkish rug through customs for us? This way we don’t have to pay duty. We both have two suitcases and if we take this rug they will charge us a lot.”
My husband without any hesitation said: “Sorry, we can’t.”
The couple said: “Why? That would be very nice of you. You don’t have anything with you. Please just pass this rug for us. God bless you if you do.”
My husband got annoyed and said: “Sorry, I would never do this. I don’t know you. I can’t trust you. Sorry.”
They got mad and mumbled while leaving us: “It was just a rug. Cheap, unkind people are gathered here calling themselves compatriots.”
After a while, they announced our bus number and finally we could get to the bus. When we reached the other side of customs, we saw that couple in handcuffs, the rug was open and there were many small plastic bags filled with drugs.”
Thank God for my husband’s wise decision, we could have gotten executed for that amount of drugs or rotted in jail forever.
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