A Travellerspoint blog

Crossing the border - Israel to Jordan

Heading to the Arab world...

As a general life rule I think I'd recommend flying over land border crossings just about always...

I was up at 2 am this morning - still suffering the effects of seriously the worst jet lag in my life. I didn't really know what the border crossing would be like and I kind of just headed north of Jerusalem to the Sheikh Hussein Bridge and figured it would all work out. After two hours on a bus (during which I got into my first argument with a local while traveling - in the native language. He yelled at me for pulling down my window shade which was nowhere near him and I told him to mind his own business while searching for some good curse words in Hebrew - sadly, nothing came to mind. He looked a little taken aback but I figured there were 5-6 men on the bus with guns so he couldn't get TOO violent) we arrived in Bait She'an which according to my travel book was 6 km away from the border and would have taxis available. Not so much. My self and one Israeli Arab woman (interesting how sensitive we are to racial profiling in the US and here it's de riguer - when officers came on to our bus - she was the only one whose ID they asked for) were the only ones headed to the border and were waiting on the driver of apparently the only taxi in Bait She'an to finish his breakfast.

We headed to the border and began the costly process of getting to Jordan. To begin, can someone please explain to me why countries require exit taxes? I understand paying to get in, but why should I have to pay to get out?? After paying my 100 shekel and passing through the duty free shop I walked to a bus stop where of course you have to wait 20 minutes for the privilege of paying a bus driver to take you 2 km to the Jordanian side. Everything was so vague about where to go and what to do. The "passport control" offices had big signs everywhere - no luggage allowed inside. Given that A) it really wasn't clear where we were supposed to put our suitcase. B) No one else seemed to be following that rule and C) I've already had one bag blown up by the Israeli police years ago (don't ask) I decided not to comply with said sign. I purchased my visa, had my passport stamped, was fingerprinted at passport control for the first time ever (note to self, do not commit any crimes in Jordan), went through "customs" and was finally in Jordan.

I had someone meeting me on the other side and I had no idea where he would be. I was told he's be at the main gate which I assumed would be straight past customs. Of course this had me lugging my suitcase down some dirt road until I was informed that I would have to take a taxi to my taxi. Seriously. I Jordanian Dinar (JD) to get to the "main gate." Happily there was Zaib with a Mrs. Rachel Dulitz sign, cold water and air conditioning. It was love at first sight....

Posted by NYCgirl 10:37 Archived in Jordan

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