Monday, December 13 – Tuesday, December 14, 1999
From Phoenix to Chicago on American Airlines was a 3-hour flight. They checked our bags all the way to Amman. On the way to the international terminal we ran into the principal investigators and their family, and found out that our next flight was delayed 2 hours, so the layover in Chicago stretched to 5 hours.
We left Chicago on a Royal Jordanian Airlines Airbus for Shannon, Ireland, where we landed about 6½ hours later. The flight wasn’t bad, the food decent (“Chicken or beef?”), but Royal Jordanian has yet to ban smoking on its flights. Although there was a smoking section, a blue cloud wafted throughout the aircraft. The layover in Shannon was brief, the air fresh. The final leg was 5 hours to Amman, making about 14½ hours in the air and 6 on the ground, for a total of just over 20 hours of travel.
Twenty Dinar (about $30)
It was slow going through customs, but our Australian friends were waiting with our rides. We made it to the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) which is near the University of Jordan. Except for lacking potable water, ACOR has pretty decent facilities. Oh, yeah, and the toilets don’t take toilet paper. There are bins for that. But otherwise ACOR looks pretty good. I’m rooming with the Australians for the next couple of nights until we move to the field. The plan is to use tomorrow to take care of loose ends; then we move to the dig house for the first field school at Mazraa’ by the Dead Sea and get it in shape before the students arrive.