Saturday, October 23, 2010

Crossing into Syria

This was one of the funniest and best afternoons I have had traveling. Jen and I will be talking about this particular day for years to come. To cross into Syria requires several different taxis- and several negotiations. We 1st had to negotiate a driver to take us to the northern-most town in Jordan. Our driver was supposed to speak English, and help us negotiate the next part of the journey. Unfortunately, he did not, and we were left to rely on my super basic Arabic. It is very uncommon to see women traveling alone, and crossing into Syria this way. As we were negotiating for the inter border taxi, we started to draw a large crowd. Men are very curious as to what a couple of light haired ladies might be up to!! Everyone wanted to offer there assistance and the few English words they knew.

Luckily they love Canada (who doesn't), but when one guy saw Jen's American passport- things got a little interesting. He yelled "American" in a way that actually gave me chills- I expected some extremist attack on us, and was prepared to karate chop our way out of the crowd!! From then on we hid Jen's passport under mine- and told everyone we were Canadian- which made me very proud for Jen- and probably made Jen hate my patriotic nature even more!! GO CANADA!!!

We negotiated our way between the borders, and were treated like celebrities. EveryMAN needed to see what we were up to, wave, try and chat with us, stare, or sing their own personal Arabic version of O'Canada. It was border entertainment to the max!!! I would throw out a couple Arabic words, and suddenly hands would be clapped together with wide grins as if I myself had brought peace to the Middle East!!

Once across the Syrian border we had to negotiate a driver to take us to Damascus. We were dropped in a small office (of only men) and we started the negotiations. Men started to cross the street from the opposite side to see what was happening. A small crowd gathered. A decision was made, and a mix CD was selected after much discussion between them for our journey. We pulled away- and the crowd waved at us.....and the music started.....50 cent Candy Shop, Akon Right Now (Na Na Na), Smack that Ass ect. We almost peed ourselves. Some of the raunchiest tunes out there- and we were driving thru Syria singing right along. Our poor driver (who was not involved in the music selection and didn't speak English) had no idea what was so funny. Mumkin (maybe) the best afternoon ever!!!

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