Midnight Express

Did you ever spend a night in jail in Bulgaria with two high-stepping Commie soldiers pointing AK-47 rifles at you? My brother Gary who prefers to be called Terry did.

In the late 1980’s he and Mark, a good friend, were in an overseas student exchange program. They decided to take the Orient Express train from Vienna, Austria to Istanbul, Turkey while on semester break. They boarded the train not thinking they would need a visa to pass through Bulgaria which was part of the Soviet Bloc at that time. They believed that as long as they were on the train everything would be fine. Except, the local KGB didn’t agree. Once the train stopped at the Communist depot, several soldiers boarded and just as in all those old spy movies, the uniformed and armed men started going from seat to seat checking papers. Gary/Terry naturally had his American passport but did not have a visa to enter into a Soviet country. He and his buddy Mark were summarily taken off the train, their passports confiscated and the boys were put in jail.
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