Thursday, 2 September 2010

No.380 Of Taxi No Bus

Golly I was grumpy today. But I was allowed to be. I think. You see the day started with a dose of the Inca Trot which had me going back and forth to the loo for much of the early hours. When I finally got to sleep and awoke at 6a.m. I found the hotel was clean out of water which meant no more loo, no shower and no brushing my teeth before heading north to the Syrian border and onto Lebanon.

The taxi driver was having none of the idea that we would want to take a bus from Damascus to Beirut rather than a taxi straight from the border. "Take Taxi" he said. "No we prefer bus" I replied. "No taxi". "No bus" "No taxi" "No bus" it continued for far too long. For three hundred kilometres he coughed over me, smoked over me and played that blooming awful Syrian monotonal music at full belt. Why would anyone not want to sit in a nice air conditioned coach in preference to this I thought?

Soon we were sitting in said air conditioned coach and over the two borders we got on and off a full 8 times as they first checked passports then visas then demanded you paid an exit or entry tax. Each time you're working in a different currency, watching your bags, your wallet, your passport. I'm learning Arabic quick because it seems to be a constant fight to keep those at bay who are trying to make some money out of you. I don't blame them. I'd do the same. It's just hard work being on the end of it.

Anyway, we're now in Beirut and a friend of ours is about to give us a tour of the city. I must try a bit of Anthony Robbins "reframing" and see if I can snap out of this "mal humor" of mine. Afterall, we're in a hotel with a loo, a shower and water and best of all no Syrian music. What more could a traveller ask for?

Beach tomorrow and the day after and the day after that too.

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