Living Like Indiana Jones

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 By Nolan DiFrancesco > Junior > International Studies > Johns Hopkins University

–“No, I don’t just want to ride a horse…. I want to ride it over the mountain.”
— “Ahhh, so you want to go the Indiana Jones way?”

Yes. This was my adventure to Petra. Called “the rose-red city, half as old as time,” it’s known for being a 4,000-year-old relic of the Nabataean civilization and a Roman settlement. But it is much more recognized as the place where Indiana Jones, in "The Last Crusade," finds the Holy Grail.
I would be lying to you if I said this was not reason I was there. I didn’t drive four hours across the Jordanian desert to admire the workmanship of ancient caves – I was there for adventure. And there were many adventures to be had.
I assured the horse-peddler that I knew exactly what I was doing, even though I had never ridden a horse. A Bedouin guide led me and my friend Kerry, a more accomplished horse rider, on our journey. The desert mountains were breathtaking and the ruins were unbelievable, but we were just getting started.
We were scheduled to leave Jordan later that night via a car from Amman to Beirut.  The problem was that we would have to travel through Syria, which is never an easy task for Americans in a country where everyone in a military uniform likes to make your life difficult. Today of all days, Syria decides to start a revolution. This is the country all the “experts” had said would never see any populist uprisings. Wrong. As protests raged through the southern part of the country, I was informed that the borders had been closed. But it turns out "closed" was a relative term – which means a lot in a place like the Middle East, where the few rules that do exist can be avoided by bargaining with the right people and flashing some cash.
Maybe I just live a charmed life, but I made it through with no problem and found myself relaxing in Beirut a few hours later. I can’t help but imagine that Indiana Jones would have had a similar experience.


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