Hunger strikes

We drove to Amman, which was fine. We waited three hours for a coach to Aqaba, which was not so fine. The waiting room was stuffy, and three American tourists were happily guzzling water, much to my horror. The coach was...tolerable. It was air-conditioned. But tourists were eating biscuits, crunching crisps, gulping juice.

We disembarked. It was just my luck that we ended up driving with Aqaba's most unstable taxi driver. He almost hit a young boy, much to his mother's fright. He raced an army jeep along a busy highway. We suddenly drove 'off-road' along the beach, narrowly missing the few bathers still basking in the sun. All of this to the tune of Evanescence's Bring Me To Life. 'I cannot die to this song' I thought.
Adam looked straight ahead, apparently unphased. I later learnt he was trying not to vomit. At the time, I was convinced I was becoming delirious. We finally reached our hostel for the night, a cheerful,
insouciant hippy camp the antithesis of our taxi ride.

We had driven so fast that we had arrived in time to watch the sunset, the one bonus of the hair-raising journey. Instead of enjoying the views of Egypt's rouged hilltops, I was fantasising about a three litre bottle of water. About fresh calimari and bounteous bowls of rice. Kudos to those who can fast every day of Ramadan, I'm glad my challenge was just one day. Though it's not every day you have to endure a taxi ride quite like that...

R Preece

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