Friday, May 04, 2007

Petra - last bit

Our last day in Petra we actually went out of our hotel (after 2 days just inside) to tour Petra which is up for the updated Seven Wonders of the World - which it should be. We were so knackered at the end of our trip that we took a horse and carriage back - after haggling with the driver of course. My Palestinian roommate haggled better in Arabic but one driver got so mad at her, he said "only the English speakers could get into the carriage" - eventually we got one that let us both on. I managed to even video tape this ride - shaky but you get the picture (pun intended).

On the way back to the hotel after our Petra tour we spoke with some of the young guys.

"You should have been at our room last night. We were smoking nargilas!"

"Thought you people weren't allowed to smoke nargilas in your hotel room - wasn't that one of the rules that A. spoke about at the beginning of the conference?"

He laughed at me. "But it was A.'s nargila we were smoking in his room."


"You must understand the Arab way - you can make the rules and then break the rules."

I see. I guess that's why the Palestinian man and woman, who at the beginning of the conference said they could not have any relationships with "settlers" meaning anyone who lives over the green line, which I do, maintained a warm relationship with me throughout the weekend. Perhaps because they were nonsensical rules anyways, made by politicians who don't know their ass from their elbows.

That evening, after the main conference ended we had a wonderful women's-only conference, where there was a lot of emotion, hugging, tears, laughter and promises. I had promised my Palestinian roommate that we would keep in touch and build up interfaith trust.

I had silently thanked God throughout the weekend that she didn't faint, get sick or die in my room because having an Israeli roommate like myself might have looked mighty suspicious to outsiders, given the bad rap we have with Palestinians.

1 comment:

Life&Times said...

Petra is really fantastic. I've been 3 times now? and always enjoy it. If you have the opportunity to go again, it's great to get in early and hike up to the Deir. It takes an hour or two, but is completely worth it for the stunning view and the fantastic hospitality at the shop at the top.