E-xem-pto-pho-bi-a(noun): an abnormal fear of being exempted from anything.
Based on latest figures Exrmptophobia hits 1 in every 9 billion. Considering that the human population is around 6 billion, you have to admit I'm damn unlucky to be Exemptophobic. I developed a severe case of Exemptophobia a few years back. I was planning a trip to Syria so I went to the Embassy to check what I need to issue a visa and they told me: As an Egyptian you are EXEMPTED from a visa! Now, these words might seem familiar to you if you hold a US passport but believe me for Egyptians (and I can tell from my personal experience of visiting 35 different countries) you need to issue a visa for any country you want to visit!
I was very excited As I marched into the immigration booths of Syria's Aleppo airport at 2 am on a sticky summer night. The excitement of entering THE FIRST country that exempted me from a visa vanished in a few seconds as I was dragged to a 45 min interrogation and walked out there without my passport!!!!!!!!!
Yes, turns out alot of Egyptian students enter Syria and stay illegally there. And since I was "EXEMPTED" from a visa and the JOB field in my passport read: STUDENT I was a text-book example of the illegal alien. I was given the option to either wait in the airport and take next plane to Cairo (i.e. to be deported) or surrender my passport and take it as I leave Syria and off course I opted for the latter.
For the next 7 days I enjoyed Syria (Great country by the way! you must visit it) but the fact that I am in a foreign country (and let's not forget not ANY foreign country, it's Syria!) without my passport nurtured my growing Exemptophobia. Thankfully, after going to the administration building in downtown Damascus for 4 days in a row and bribing a couple of officials I was able to get my sweeeeeeet sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet passport back.
The interesting is that this all came back to me a few days ago as I was at the South African Embassy here in Warsaw getting my visa and the lady looked at me and said:
YOU ARE EXEMPTED...
As an Exemptophobic, I felt the cold sweat break from my forehead and the early signs of a full scale seizure kicking in, luckily the lady completed by saying:
...FROM VISA FEES!