December 23, 2008

Fun with old photos: Jordan

In early 2000, Elizabeth and I thought it would be fun to rent a Hyundai stick-shift hatchback and road-trip through Jordan for five days visiting the medieval ruins in the desert. Yeah, we talked about this recently when we met up in Hanover for reunion and in retrospect, we're not sure what we were thinking. We just kind of landed in Amman, picked up the car, and went. Since I can't drive, it was up to Elizabeth to do the steering and, well, no offense E, but she wasn't really that good with the stick. I remember pulling up in front of (I think I remember it) the Castle Hotel in Karak, a very hilly town, in the middle of the night and we had to keep accelerating up the hill as we rolled down the window and shouted at the man in front of the hotel to please jump in and help us park the car because it kept rolling backwards downhill. At one point in the trip we got lost in the middle of the desert -- the sand in south Jordan is fine and red, like a Burnt Siena crayon red -- and kept driving, didn't turn around until we saw a sign saying we were 40km from Saudi. The car didn't have a CD player, and the only tapes we had with us were a Don Henley's Greatest Hits mix and some other music that I think included Dave Matthews, which makes my ears bleed, so we drove through the red desert listening to and rewinding "Boys of Summer" over and over and over again for days. I remember gas was 9 cents a gallon. We didn't talk that much after the first day, but one morning we were on a long stretch of road and there were no cars in front of us and no one behind us, just mountains and desert and Don Henley and Elizabeth said to me, "Wouldn't you rather be doing this than sitting in an office anyday?" Yes, I would, absolutely.