April 6, 2010

Amman to Damascus.

I fall out of the taxi at another service station, blear-eyed and part hysterical. In the shop there’s a plastic duck for sale, which lays plastic eggs.

“Happy Duck”

the packaging pleads,

“Lay An Egg”.

I haven’t slept for a long time.

*            *            *

The king of Jordan must spend a lot of his life having his photo taken. Every other billboard carries a picture of him in some new pose: in army fatigues; in a smart businessman’s three-piece; in leathers on a Harley Davidson; as a doctor, tending a sick child. I imagine his dressing-up box.

The Empathic Doctor King is the last thing we see of Jordan.

On the Syrian side, we’re greeted by a stern image of the much-loved President. We shit small bricks giving the guard our passports- this, after all, is where our trip to Israeli could be our undoing. In Amman we rid ourselves of all signs of Israel: every Shekel, every bus ticket with Hebrew printed, every marked page in the Lonely Planet. The guard pauses for a second at the smudged Egypt stamp, but shrugs it off and lets us through. Hayley Looyah.

We’ve got ten hours in Damascus.

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