Eyes Wide Open

Location Wobbly table outside coffee house, downtown Amman | Mood Eyes wide open | Date 6 August 2006
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
Wobbly table outside coffee house, downtown Amman
Eyes wide open
Lizzie practising Arabic greetings
Hacking cough (Lizzie) that doesn't seem to be going away
6 August 2006
Current crisis: 
Firewire port on camera broken, meaning we can't make backups

Amman, Jordan. Amman, Jordan.

First time in the Middle East and everything is as expected: desert, dust, hummus, heat, men staring, women in veils, war. No trouble getting in with all our camera gear - once we explained that our lock'n'chain was not handcuffs. Set up in super friendly hotel (Saraya), run by the super friendly manager (Fayez) who's very proud of his "super friendly" Lonely Planet recommendation.

Gas is sold in bottles off trucks that drive the streets with the same annoying ringtone as ice cream vans in London (Für Elise/ Frogger). How can that possibly be?

We are here to find an Iraqi widow. Currently at square one, with only two contacts to our name. But not panicking yet. And about to meet up with highly recommended fixer, Ra'fat, who's been very keen on email.

But first, first Arabic coffee.