|The Bear and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.|
This morning the Bear was escorted by his Russian friends, Slava and Kostya to the imposing mountaintop presidential palace of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Everyone was very nice to the Bear. President al-Assad even insisted that the Bear be checked out at the hospital on the premises. The Bear was provided with the medication he must take to maintain compliance with Fish, Game and Wildlife's Department of Large Talking Predators safety requirements. Although he does not suppose their writ runs in Syria.
The Bear's Arabic is rusty. (Truthfully, non-existent other than a few basics.) However, President al-Assad speaks excellent English.
You just can't get falafel stateside like they have in this part of the world.
The Bear was given a short speech to recite; he supposes the usual polite diplomatic nonsense visiting dignitaries are expected to say. Frankly, the Bear is utterly confounded by all the attention. He is, after all, only a simple Catholic ephemerist. His own government has not shown the least bit of interest in getting the Bear back home. Frankly, the Bear is going from impatient to irritated.
Perhaps the Bear shall pop down to the U.S. embassy tomorrow. The Bear would just book a flight out on a U.S. carrier, but he was in such a hurry to get to Turkey he forgot his passport. Oh bother.
New quarters have been provided. The Bear now has reliable high-speed internet and a military honor guard kindly provided by President al-Assad. And of course, there is the constant companionship of the Bear's friends, Slava and Kostya, who are almost touchingly loyal. It is nice for the Bear to be able to practice his Russian! They call the Bear "Misha," which is rather charming.
The Bear can only imagine that when U.S. government officials see what an excellent good will ambassador the Bear has been, they will be pleased, and expedite his return. However, the Bear has to admit he could get use to Damascus. Everyone is really nice here.