While taking pictures of the Monestary, I heard clop clop behind me. I turned around to find Abobad, a Bedouin selling donkey rides. Even though he was wearing a cowboy hat with a fringed leather jacket, he was somehow not the most eccentric Bedouin I had encountered. We chat for a few minutes as he establishes that Calvin is not my husband (I was tempted to lie though) and he says he likes me. and gives me some plastic bracelets. 

Fun fact. Tourists cannot climb the sandstone rock, but Bedouins have total access. So with Abobad, the security guard lets me climb up this 3 meter wall into the monestary’s cave. Its large inside. You can see the marks where the Nabotaens used their tools the hew at the rock. Abobad shows me a red cross  on the back wall, a relic from the invaders.

At this point, Calvin isn’t back from the panorama view. So we sit at the opening of the cave, in the shade of the tomb, and exchange riddles. He tells me about climbing the rock and preserving the desert. He and his family still live in one of the caves.

By the time Calvin comes back, I hadn’t answered his last riddle. What do you buy but never use?

a coffin.


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June 2011