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Friday, December 30, 2005

More surprising than 'little green men'

"A 16-year-old from Florida who traveled to Iraq on his own without telling his parents has left the country and is on his way home, the U.S. Embassy's consul general said Friday." ...

"His ride at Baghdad International Airport, arranged by the family friends in Lebanon, dropped him off at an international hotel where Americans were staying.

"He says he only strayed far from that hotel once, in search of food. He walked into a nearby shop and asked for a menu. When no menu appeared, he pulled out his Arabic phrase book, and after fumbling around found the word 'menu.' The stand didn't have one. Then a worker tried to read some of the English phrases.

"'And I'm like, "Well, I should probably be going." It was not a safe place. The way they were looking at me kind of freaked me out,' he said.

"It was mid-afternoon on Tuesday, after his second night in Baghdad, that he sought out editors at AP and announced he was in Iraq to do research and humanitarian work.

"AP staffers had never seen an unaccompanied teenage American walk into their war zone office. ('I would have been less surprised if little green men had walked in,' said editor Patrick Quinn.)" ...

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