Thursday, September 06, 2007

Make your Money and Run, Boy

Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan

It is a fresh and clear morning and the traffic pretty much non existent as we ran from the city to Queen Alia. Immigration and passports and other officials were sleepy and inattentive, the immigration guy slumped down in his chair below the counter catching some sleep. The place is lousy with American men, and their accents echo through the building. All polite in their own way but making the mistake of speaking louder when someone fails to comprehend their drawl. Adventurers into Iraq I guess. Three out of four wear military style boots and carry military style backpacks. They seem to fall into two groups. Young men in late twenties early thirties age. Travelling in pairs or trios. Jeans, T-shirt and baseball cap. All seem to still carry their military style haircuts. It’s hard to leave the military nursery after all, even (especially) after your discharge is formalised. Most are fit and burly, straining T-shirts to breaking point. One short case looks like he could bench press a cement truck. The local boys in the cafĂ© humour them although the Jordanian police sergeant refused to reply to a drawled “howya doin’ boy?” I suspect he would take no consolation from hearing the same greeting thrown at a couple of the American's buddies who later came up the escalator from immigration. The second group appear to be in their fifties or so. The uniform is similar although the hair longer and the goatee more frequent. They travel on their own. Same military backpacks. And definitely not as fit looking. I fancy they are seeking the same adventure though. Headed for Iraq and taking the opportunity to do something outlandish, historical or cash rewarding. The latter is a major attraction. Two of them standing behind me at immigration had one of those typically loud American conversations, for the whole immigration hall to hear, about how it was only the cash that drew them to Iraq. Quipped one, to the other , “make your money and run boy, make your money and run.”

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