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Tuesday it Must be Amman

We rather take street names for granted at home but imagine if there weren't any? It used to be this way when I lived in Saudi Arabia and its the same in Jordan, so finding an address with a taxi demands a map and a taxi driver who either speaks English or can understand pidgin Arabic clearly enough to get you to your destination. I'm told that GPS devices are banned here for security reasons. It sounds crazy if it's true.

In Amman, everything is referenced the five main roundabouts thatrun through the city and I'm sitting in an office in one just off "Circle 5". When I lived in Jeddah, I had an apartment near "Thumb Street", a giant replica of the King's Thumb. There was a nose and other parts of the royal person dotted around the city and so one used to give directions like, "Third on the left off Thumb street." All well and good until they moved the Thumb one day, causing chaos and a near strike by taxi drivers.



Finding a taxi can be hard enough. Last night I spent ages standing in the middle of the road like an extra in the chariot ace from Ben Hur looking for an empty taxi as the traffic charged past. There are no traffic rules here that I can see and "Who dares wins", as Del Trotter would say.


HRH Princess Dina Mired

I now have to find my way to the British Embassy for a meeting with the Ambassador followed by two Princesses and the Finance Minister dotted acros the city. There's no guarantees that any of the meetings, other than that with the Ambassador, will run to time or that the taxis, if I find one, will break through the gridlock in temperatures close to 95 degrees. Another day and another adventure!

More photos here.

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