An Israeli traveling through Egypt is stopped at the border under suspicion of carrying counterfeit currency: a fake 100 dollars. Things look bleak as he’s taken to jail for the funny money…
Me: You went to Egypt?
Daniel: One time I went back to Egypt, and they stopped me at the border. They’re checking me, checking my luggage, and when they check my bag, they see these stacks of 100 dollars. They check it over the machine and they say, there’s one…
Me: They check the serial numbers? Are they worried it’s stolen or something?
So they check one and told me, “This one is fake. You want to go to jail or just rip it up?”
I said, “No, it’s not fake, it’s a real one!”
“No, it’s a fake one. Here you go. Go to jail.”
But, they said I could let them keep it. I could have left it with them, but I didn’t. Instead, they took me to jail for three days. They left me hungry. They don’t care about you. I was trying to contact someone from Israel to come pick me up and help do this investigation to get me out of prison.
After three days, they got me out. The guard gave me back my money and said “OK, here’s your hundred dollars.”
WTF? I went to jail for three days over one fake 100 dollar bill! That was stupid of me, but at the same time, why would you give me back that fake 100 dollars?
Me: You think it was a scam.
Daniel: Yeah. I don’t know if it was fake or not. At the same time, they do that a lot.
Me: Did it have to do with you being Israeli?
Daniel: Oh yeah. Basically yeah. And every time you go through Egypt, you keep some Egyptian pound and give it to them. “Here you go…” and just walk through.
Me: Damn. Generally I like these countries where you grease the wheels a little bit and there’s no problems…