Saturday, January 23 2010
There are people hovering around the hotel desk. The man who charged my MP3 player a few hours ago sees me and says, "You're still here? I think you want to sleep in the airport!" There's a short man hustling around organizing the tour. He asks for my boarding pass and says he'll give it back to me in a few minutes. I ask him about the weather, because it's very grey outside and it looks like it's snowing. Also, I'm not wearing anything warm. He assures me it's "not that bad".
After a few minutes, I meet 2 other men who will be doing the tour with me. One is from Syria and the other is from Spain. They've both flown in from Seoul, Korea - on the same flight as me! When we step outside it is freezing! I don't have gloves, a scarf or a jacket on. Diaa, from Syria offers me his long coat. Usually I'd decline, but it was THAT cold that I was more than happy to take it from him. He assures me he has many layers under the suit he has on.
It's just the three of us and we make some small talk before we pick up our guide. Her name is Dilek and I notice that she's not overly friendly. She is, however happy to have a Spanish person in the group as she says she's been studying the language but has no one to practice on.