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Jordan

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So far our new relationship with Jordan had followed the usual pattern – at first it’s all new experiences (Wadi Rum) and crazy sex (Petra), but eventually things slow down and you have to meet the friends (Dana, Shobak), then the parents (Amman, the Dead Sea), then the novelty wears off and you realize the sex isn’t so much crazy as strange and embarrassing (Jerash). See part 1 – An Affair to Remember: Wadi Rum Edition Our First FightAlthough we found Amman to be a comfortable, welcoming city, if rather large, into every relationship comes conflict at some point. For us it was Jerash. Now, before we get too far, let me say that Jerash itself was not to blame, its amazing Roman theatres and columns expertly restored to depict a terrific view into its glorious past. It was, as Limp Bizkit put it, just one of those days. What…

The Blind Date We arrived in Aqaba full of expectations and hope. Despite the mysteriously missing “u” it seemed like a clean, organized city, with surprising views of both Egypt and Israel. Coming off our rocky relationship with Egypt and all its highs and lows we were anxious to believe the hype about Wadi Rum and Petra. Were we ready for this though? Or was Jordan to be merely a rebound country to be discarded and forgotten? Only time would tell. The CourtshipWe quickly move on to Petra with the reckless haste of those intent on starting a new chapter. And Jordan, that bubbly wench, was right there offering all we craved, our wildest desires there for the taking (except milk). Intoxicated with the excitement and newness of it all we were easily led. But would it be too much, too soon? The BangingThe ancient rose-red city of Petra. Built…

Miscellaneous notes wrapping up Jordan, Syria and Lebanon: In Palmyra we experienced our first guilt trip from a cab driver. On our second day he caught up to us on the street and whined that we had promised him we’d go to the tombs with him, which of course we hadn’t. I thought he was going to cry for a minute. People eat so late in the Middle East that it’s possible for us to go to a restaurant and sit anywhere because they will remove the Reserved signs and just replace them when we leave (I hadn’t actually noticed this until Barry pointed it out but it was true). A favourite practice in Syria, Aleppo in particular, was a slight markup of everything on your bill, easily explained if questioned I’m sure but not enough to cause a stir over (and no, tax was on top of that as…

Anxious and confused, frustrated but intrigued, grateful but embarrassed. Welcome to our Nuweiba – Aqaba ferry experience. Nearly the only way to get from Egypt to Jordan without flying. Had to be paid in $US, Dahab is by far the most common tourist stop before the ferry, yet none of Dahab’s 4 banks would even consider the ludicrous idea of changing Egyptian pounds to dollars. Go to Nuweiba, my friend, in Nuweiba dollars grow on trees, they will change in banks, the port, on the ferry, dollars fall out of donkey’s arses along the road…. Off the bus in Nuweiba, asking around, change money at the ticket office – no, in the port? the ferry? Doesn’t matter, can’t get in without a ticket. Are there any donkeys nearby? Never mind….. Two banks, one on each side of the street. Bank # 1: The teller is utterly shocked, giving us a look as…

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