Like the day he and his archaeologist pal travel across the border from Israel into Jordan. He shares some background stories and then writes,
These days, peace is nominally at hand, and a visitor arriving from Israel is expected to come bearing cigarettes at least. Having made this trip many times, Avner knew the drill and presented our Jordanian guide, Mahmoud, with a red-and-white carton fresh from the duty-free. "But they're not Marlboro," Mahmoud said. "They're Gold Coast." His disappointment at the cheap imitations was palpable, so Avner walked back through the security gate and to the border itself, only to arrive back fifteen minutes later, unsuccessful. "Oh, well. It's all poisonous just the same," Mahmoud said, and we were on our way. (pg. 353)
Love that line by Mahmoud there at the end!
|I remember seeing warnings like this in the Istanbul airport shops.|
One day while they were climbing the narrow, rock-strewn path up a mountain in the Sinai, they were suddenly "joined by a swarm of hangers-on, a cluster of barefoot, eight-year-old boys who tugged at our shorts and reached into our pockets, parroting, 'Money. Dollars. Pepsi. USA!' We spoke to them, ignored them, sighed at them, turned them down, but still they continued to haggle with us for most of the way to the top. 'Money. One dollar. Two dollar. Baksheesh!' Eventually, after half an hour, they changed tactics and elected to hold our hands and sing to us. 'At least we have something to sacrifice when we get to the top,' I said." (pg. 216)
|Don't worry kids. I'm sure he was just kidding!|
We stopped for directions. Then stopped again. We stopped a third time, and a fourth. Whoever popularized the theory that men don't ask for directions has never visited the Egyptian Delta. But the directions were often contradictory: left past the third mound of dirt, right at the fork in the canal; left at the tractor, right at the burning manure. Eventually at a gas station we got directions that sounded right -- "Stay on this road, not left or right " -- if only because they sounded as if they came right out of the Bible. Within seconds, Avner produced a passage, Joshua 1:7, with the same instructions: "Turn not to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go." It's no wonder it took the Israelites forty years to cross the desert; they spent half that time just getting out of town. (pg. 173)
|Good luck getting outta there!|