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Back to Israel
Day 14, June 27 1998, Aqaba, Eilat, Jerusalem

Yesterday's burn was worse than I first thought. I was unable to carry my backpack. Luckily, there was not much carrying to be done today. After breakfast and fruit mix, off to catch a taxi to the Jordan border.
As always, there were a lot of rituals to be gone through, including even an exit tax, which amounted to 4 JD a person., totalling 8 JD. Unfortunately, we deliberately spent the last of our dinars in Aqaba, aware of their usefulness, or lack of it, on the other side of the border. So we were off to the local Jordan bank, which happened to be open. After a while, even an employee appeared. We changed 20 Dutch guilders for 6 JD, still 500 fils short of the required amount. The bank employee gave us the rest, though. Thanks!
The tax man gave us a few yellow pieces of paper in exchange for our money and then proceeded to enquire after Dennis' 'gel'. His gel? One of his colleagues was kind enough to explain that he was referring to his girlfriend. However, the gentleman's use of the word 'fock' did not require an elaborate translation. After handing in our passports and the yellow pieces of paper to yet another man, we were handed back our passports with some stamps in, and we were free to walk the tarmac to Israel.

The first thing I found striking about Israel was the border employees. Where do they get these good-looking yet highly professional examples of womanhood in surprisingly complementary uniforms? However, these women were not to be taken at face value. When it came to checking out my APS films, they were quite relentless. Not until I fully explained the magnetically sensitive nature of these films, were they prepared to examine them by hand instead of by means of the scanner.

Also, one of the girls was interested in the contents of my thermos bottle. I guess it looks kind of scary. It did contain cool water and not cool nitroglycerine, much to their relief.

The taxi to Eilat was a refreshing surprise: there was an air co in there. Wonderful! We were less delighted at having to wait 5 hours for the next bus to Jerusalem. Since my back was too painful to carry my backpack, we decided to wait in an authentic Irish pub. Well, authentic, they did play a lot of U2 and they had Guinness (God love it) - in the latter we indulged enormously. We also played Backgammon 'til we dropped. Back in Jerusalem, we checked back in at the Petra hotel.

 
 

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