Felt a bit like this. Of course, I wasn't a journalist, and there wasn't a war on back then, but there was still a vast craziness. Like the hotel clerk, sitting chatting to his friend, would see you coming and start to write in a ledger in front of him. As you asked him for the key to your room, or for an extra blanket or whatever, he'd carry on writing and ignoring you. When you asked again, without looking up, he'd shout "Passport!" Happy days. Whoever could want such a lovely regime to change?