Pharma-Conning In Cairo
A few weeks ago my girlfriend Simone and I were in an Egyptian stamp store that smelled like glue and mothballs along a cul-de-sac near Talaat Harb street. For some reason, the eerily strange profession of rare stamp hustling never manifests itself in very hygienic or organised environments, so you can imagine the hot and dusty squalor within the archaic hole-in-the-wall emporium where we came across a Liberian passport while sifting through sun-faded manila envelopes.
The vendor, Omar, who barely had enough room in the place for a cash register, didn’t even know it was in his shop. “Do you have anymore?” we asked, after buying the passport. He said he might and was instantly on the phone making lengthy Arabic calls to some sort of dead-person-identity dealership. An hour later, we had two other passports in our hands: Ihab Ahmed from Jordan, and Fatima Sheehad from the United Arab Republic.
The ease with which we obtained our black market passports made us wonder what other illegal shit we could get our hands on in post-revolution Egypt, so we decided to embark on a pharmaceutical excursion.