Travels With Nate #12: Amman, Jordan to Damascus, Syria

Amman, Jordan to Damascus, Syria

October 30th

Smiles, how is everyone doing? Nate and I are fine, thank you. We both arrived safely in Damascus yesterday. We managed to get a very flash service taxi from Amman to Damascus for only JD6 (about $7.50). Everything went smoothly at the border, and after a very short 5 hours we appeared in Damascus. Hurray!

Well we got a taxi to a hotel in downtown, and again the taxi guy attempted to rip us off. His metre said the fair was S63 (about $1.20), but he claimed the fair was S630 ($12.00)! NO WAY! I tell you, I am getting fed up with taxi guys!

Well we ended up paying him S200 ($4.00) – but only because he snatched the note from my hand and sped off! So both Nate and I agree that from now on we will carry very small change and a big hun, and the taxi’s will get sorted.

The rest of the day went much better. We settled into a really nice hostel for S180 ($3.60). Later that evening we met up with a really nice girl we met in Petra by the name of Chris. Lyndon crashed (pretty tough day being driven around!), and the girls and I (Nate was left in the bag for the “fat and stupid” comment) floated (I hobbled) to the market. We ended up going a little crazy and buying all this fresh fruit and veggies and ended up making a feast! The rest of the evening was spent chatting and playing backgammon in the hostel courtyard.

We all woke up late (except for Fee who can’t sleep and always has the energy of a five-year-old). Fee and Lyndon decided to ditch me and go on a power tour of the old city. (where all the cool mosques and markets are located). Chris tagged along with them and they disappeared.

After a little while Nate and I said ‘stuff it,’ and we both went out to check up on the old city too. Not surprising but we soon bumped into the Happy Trio, and Chris decided to tag along with us (we are pretty cool you know!) and head to the Jewish and Christian Quarter. Chris seems to be like me, and shortly after meeting we both got terribly lost. At one point we left the old city all together. Oh well. We got to see lots of cool stuff and we even managed to find a beer! Woo-woo!

Later that night we both met up with Lyndon and Fee and decided to go out for a nice meal. After some convincing we allowed Nate to tag along (he can be a little embarrassing in public sometimes!). Anyways, to our surprise (well, Fee knew) they were filming a movie or something, cuz there were a few camera-type guys running around.

The dinner ended up being way more than we bargained for. The dinner place is not really frequented by foreigners, so our waiter didn’t speak any English. So after a drawn-out conversation we figured out that there was no menu and dinner was buffet-style. We thanked the waiter guy and left for the buffet line. Well, this shocked our poor little waiter to death, and provided some before-dinner entertainment for the other patrons. So dinner turned out to be many different courses served over the entire evening. The show was great, and every time a waiter came by we all cringed in fear that more food was going to appear.

I think that after our little wonder with dinner plates in-hand, staff decided we must be terribly hungry and proceeded to bring us more food than we could possibly eat! Both Nate and I agree that to-date this was the best meal we have had in the Middle East. Syria is turning out to be very cool. The people are amazing and friendly; one waiter held my hand going down the stairs and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Well I am full and very very happy right now. Nate is snoring contently beside me. So sleep tight and please don’t let the bed bugs bite�

PS: If you have any questions about places I’ve been or am going feel free to e-mail me at complexfire@hotmail.com

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