my brief "morse" training session was held in Saudi Arabia.
I passed the G8 VHF license when I was fifteen, but waited until I was twenty-one to consider fully learning the code, I was working in the desert so had quite a bit of spare time. I bought a David Tong morse trainer, beautiful little device , ideal for practise. I wrote to David in Leeds, explaining that I needed him to post an export to my base in Riyadh, especially needed many many certificates of origin etc from Leeds Chamber of Commerce, and other random paperwork to pass the Saudi customs.
I waited the usual month for the Saudi post, (who sometimes 'accidentally' burnt their load of envelopes/parcels if they were feeling stressed) but I never got my morse trainer - instead, our company fixer (who knew a minor royal) came to collect me one day , with a police escort.
I was taken downtown , not to customs, but some ministry basement, something like the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (English acronym might be ISIS or AlQaeda, summat like that?) and a DATONG morse tutor was unboxed in front of me, turned on by the insurgent/officer, (DATONG thoughtfully fitted a 9V PP3) and beautiful loud 12 wpm random text was emitted into the gasps of the small audience. "Who are you communicating with", was their first question! "What are they saying" was the next, oooops. So my memory is a bit hazy but somehow I got the fixer to deny that I was me, to explain that I had no idea what the shiny box was, and that could I please go home. Shaggy summed up my then attitude with his "it wasn't me" pop-tune later.
Since then, I've loved data modes, admire the beauty of morse - but I should have had the foresight to ask Dr. Tong to leave out the battery , when Prince Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's now notorious GIP henchmen were on my fiendish western intel plot, or whatever. My fixer , pbuh, obviously did some great work as I enjoyed the rest of my time in KSA, but ordered no more high tech toys from abroad... I was offered a full HF 100W transceiver by a departing colleague, but stuck with Sony HF RX portables, not wishing to push my luck. G8***/HZ1