Sunday, July 16, 2006

Night time security...

Recently, because of all the riots and stuff going on here, security has been increased like crazy here in Amman as a result of the Israel-Lebanon war. Getting into the University of Jordan is trickier - they ID everyone now. There are more jets and helicopters flying around every day, patrolling and guarding everything.

Even cargo trucks get extra security. We live behind the Dustour newspaper printing press, so there is a warehouse that is constantly used for newsprint and ink and distributing printed newspapers. Usually we have 1-3 semi-trucks in front of our house waiting to be loaded. Yesterday, we saw a few of them drive away with a full police escort. Kind of weird...

So, last night, as we were laying in bed, we heard Arabic voices on walky talkies - right under our open 2nd floor window. We had police cars directly under our apartment. Thinking rationally late at night is pretty much impossible. We had no idea why they were there. Were they tipped off that there would be some sniper attacking us during the night? Were they called in to protect our house from a potential terrorist raid? Or worse, were they really terrorists, ready to kidnap us while dressed as police, alla Iraq, where this happens every day? Were we about to die?

The voices went on for hours - until at least 1 AM. All I could pick up was that they were patrolling the area around the Dustour, that all was clear, and that patrols would continue. Were those all code words for the imminent attack/strike/kidnapping? Was zero-hour about to come?

At around 1:30, I hear two large engines turn on, startling me even more. A rocket was just fired! Two of them! We were going to die!

The engines were put in gear and drove away. The police radio stopped. Did the rockets get the police instead of us? Were we just saved by the actual police, who stopped our would-be kidnappers and torturers?

Nope. It turns out that it was just another police escort for two semitrucks. Their loading was delayed, as was their departure, so the police escort just had to wait - right under our window.

So, all is well in Amman, including my mind!

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