Interesting Day #1

Dr. Adams of neurology recently told me the ancient Chinese curse, “May you lead an interesting life.” The border crossing yesterday was nearly an event to add to my interesting life. First though, the three hours to and from Petra were worth every bumpy, twisty, nausea-inducing minute. Notching my 3rd of the New 7 wonders of the world was amazing. The facades were grandiose and parts which were protected from erosion and defacement demonstrated fantastic skill of the rock carvers. This is one of those things you have to see to really get the point. Josh should be posting some great pictures he took. Also, I dedicate my tourist camel ride to my girlfriend Amanda, as that is (was) one of our life goals.

The border crossing, as we were told it would be by Dr. Faramond, was slow. Leaving Jordan was simple and people were friendly. The large majority of entering the West Bank (controlled by Israel) was also run by friendly citizens, but the process was drawn out. Waiting in line at passport control, a new window was opened and we were told to move to the new window (“awesome, special treatment for the white guys”). But the questions started to get more specific than I knew about the itinerary, and we didn’t have great contact info for who we were staying with; we were told to have a seat and someone would come talk to us. We sat and sat until the one with no international experience (James) was singled out and taken away from us for further questioning. Then, more sitting. Then more questioning of James. I had very nice time with the another singled-out white guy- he works for the Red Cross/Crescent in Israel attempting to mediate relations of their chapter with the rest of the Middle East. Very cool guy. But James was obviously frustrated, not completely unprovoked, and it was dark out already. But, his third calling was to the window for stamping and welcome, and Josh and I followed promptly. No problem.

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