On the Road to Damascus

(Sorry, just realised I had saved this post as a draft originally, rather than published ıt. Too many different languages I’m trying to deal with these days)

This afternoon I’m catching a bus from Amman to Damascus. All going well, it shouldn’t take much more than 6-7 hours, including going through the border procedures. It looks like things should be all good for getting a visa at the border. Several people I have spoken too have said it is no problem for New Zealanders. The only problem was at the bus company, where they weren’t too keen to sell me a ticket with no visa in my passport. I guess they don’t want to risk having me holding up a bus full of people while I get into an argument with a border official.

I’ve enjoyed my time in Jordan. The people here are much nicer, not constantly trying to rip you off, and things seem to work a bit better. I also seem to be able to handle their version of Arabic a little better, although I have a long way to go! Amman hasn’t really done much for me – basically just a big noisy city full of traffic, but the rest of the country is nice.

Petra was cool to go too, but I suprised myself a little in that one long day (plus Petra by Night) was enough for me, and I didn’t want to go back for a second day, even though I had a ticket for it. The walk down Al-Siq, followed by the first view of the Treasury is pretty awesome, but I was a little let down by some of the rest of it. It has eroded a lot over the centuries, and the old city centre requires quite a bit of imagination to work out quite what it all looked like before time/earthquakes/etc. Certainly worth the visit though.

We had a nice day travelling by taxi from Wadi Musa (Petra) to Amman. It’s very weird driving around a bunch of biblical sites though, and seeing Israel so close by. The Dead Sea was a bit of fun, although I don’t think I could handle a week at a resort there. The water is very strange – it feels like a fine baby oil against your skin. Quite perculiar. The thing I couldn’t work out was why they had a safety rope a little way out from shore, with signs telling me not to go beyond it – it’s not like it was possible for me to drown. Perhaps they were worried about me floating off to Israel.

Not sure exactly how long I’ll be in Syria for – probably around a week to 10 days. I think it might be time for me to get up to a Turkish beach resort, and hang out for a couple of days, relaxing, rather than visiting historical monuments every day. Mentally you get a bit sick of it after a while. I’ll just struggle on though, thinking of others at work.