Our trip to Aqaba was not very well planned. We decided to go on Friday after church and left early Saturday morning. Our goal was to get to the bus station at 7:00 am but we didn't get there until 9:00 am so the bus was full. Andrew and Jason bought tickets for the 12 noon bus but Crystal and I didn't think it was really worth it to drive all that way and then only have a few hours at the beach--we wanted the full day.
Andrew and I went and sold our tickets back and we all piled into another taxi to go to the Wahadat bus station. When we got there, we once more were inundated by taxi drivers and agreed on 30 JD for our 4-5 hour ride to Aqaba.
We switched our luggage over to the other taxi and started on our way. Our taxi driver was insane! He was going at outrageous speeds--sometimes up to 160 km/hr! It was pretty crazy...but we were making good time, so we couldn't really complain. Besides, had we objected I don't think that the driver would have listened.
All of a sudden this truck in front of us pulls 1/2 of an illegal U-turn! (Only one half because he stopped with his trailer covering our entire lane, and part of the next!). So, here we are flying down the road at 160 km/hr and there is a truck at a dead stop in front of us! Yikes! We all do a quick surveillance of our surroundings: there is a bus beside us, with a truck in front of it...there is a semi-truck behind us, and another car beside it. We all thought we were dead! Andrew, Jason, and I kept our eyes open...for most of it. Crystal had her eyes shut tight. Ezra, well, he was probably dancing around completely oblivious to our eminent death. Even our driver closed his eyes and covered his head with his arms.
Andrew is pretty sure that part of our car went underneath the truck because the opening between the bus and truck that we had to squeeze through was certainly not big enough for us to fit through. However it happened, it was definitely a miracle that we survived. We are very glad that we remembered to pray for safety before we left and that Heavenly Father listened to and answered our prayer! We will be forever grateful that we survived that incident.
After stopping the taxi, our driver got out to go beat up the driver of the truck. As is the tradition in Jordan, other cars stopped to mediate the fight. It ended without any fists flying, but our driver was so shaken up. He came back to the car shaking and lit up a cigarette immediately. He smoked 2 packs on the way down. I suppose he was nervous--but he didn't ever slow down the car. We got to Aqaba exactly 3 hours after we left. We had to pinch each other to be sure that we were still alive, and I'm sure we all prayed that night thanking Heavenly Father for his protection (I know Andrew and I did!).
I didn't have time to whip out the camera and make a video of our flirting with death, so I drew you a picture!