Russian tourist spends a week in African harem

Doctor Omar had a harem of several wives, but Veronica was told she would be living together with other wives

Tourism instructor Veronica Sungatova, 29, from the city of Ufa enjoys individual traveling about exotic countries, as it is her hobby and part of professional activity. Together with a friend of hers, Aigen from Switzerland, Veronica had three voyages to different parts of the world. In their fourth expedition to African countries lying in Sahara Aigen's friends Alex and Anna joined the tourists. At first, the company left for the Italian sea port of Genoa and then started for Tunis by sea. Harem

Troubles began as soon as Veronica arrived on the African continent: her Tunisian visa turned out to be overdue and frontier officers withdrew her passport. The young woman even had to appeal to the Russian consul in Tunis and request to prolong the visa. The tourists spent just several days in Tunis.

In Algeria, the traveling became even riskier. Three times some kids bombarded the car of the tourists with stones. Veronica wrote in her traveling journal: “When having a stop in Africa with the exception of vast Sahara usually some local guy appears and watches you from a distance; he may watch strangers for hours.”  One morning a young man with a knife appeared close to the place where the travelers stopped for the night. The man demanded that the tourists must give him whatever he asks. Veronica and Aigen felt the situation was rather dangerous and immediately fled from the place. 

One morning being in Chad in Sahara Veronica went for a walk about the place. She had a book and decided to enjoy reading among the sand-dunes. The sun was at a zenith when Veronica realized she was reading too long and wanted to go to the place where she and her friends stopped the car. Suddenly, she came across empty straw huts which she had not seen on her way before and understood she got lost. Being terribly thirsty, Veronica had to stop and spend a lot of time in the shade of trees dozing for some time. It was really painful for the girl to continue her way as burs stung her feet.

In a day of unlucky searches, Veronica noticed prints of automobile tires and followed them hoping to find her friends. On her way Veronica met a man riding a donkey who took the thirsty wanderer to some tiny village. Locals gave Veronica water and food; two girls even removed burs out of her feet. Some man speaking French came to see Veronica in the evening. The girl somehow explained to him what had happened to her. Locals did their best to entertain the guest: they even brought a radio set and picked up an English channel. Next morning, some people took Veronica to the large city of Mao in a car.

Mao police commissar was shocked to know that Veronica had no documents which she left in the car together with all her things. Local doctor Omar spoke some Russian as he had studied medicine in Ukraine. The doctor said Veronica could live for some time together with his family until the Russian Embassy based in N'Djamena gives instructions as concerning what is to be done next for Veronica.

Doctor Omar had a harem of several wives, but Veronica was told she would be living together with other wives as a guest. The girl was received as a princess; doctor's wives gave her water for washing and a servant washed her clothes. Veronica had good meals and even could watch TV. Omar's wives often quarreled with each other as they thought the doctor discriminated some of them.

Within the several days that the Russian girl spent in the harem Veronica and Omar's wives even made friends with each other. When in a week the sheriff came to take Veronica to N'Djamena, one woman of the harem began to cry and entreated her to stay. 

Veronica was brought to the central police department of Chad where she was interrogated and then settled in a room close to cells. The girl had a sleepless night as she could not sleep to the sound of handcuffs. Next day Veronica was taken to the Russian Consulate where she was given rather cold receiving. The girl learnt that the RF Interior Ministry, Russia's Foreign Ministry and the FSB had been working to settle her problem for two days already. A ticket to Russia cost $2,000. Veronica had to call her mother and ask her to send enough money and documents for traveling home. Waiting for a message from Russia Veronica had to live at the Embassy. She lived in some dirty room where she had even no books as embassy staff explained the Russian girl was placed in quarantine. She could have just short walks in the Embassy garden. Soon, the consul brought tickets to Russia and Veronica documents which meant the girl finally could go home.

But the dangerous trip did not discourage Veronica from traveling about the world. Now she is accompanying her friend Aigen in his tour about Russia and soon plans to conquer more countries and continents.

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Author`s name Olga Savka