Ruwayshed is the town in Jordan closest to the Iraqi border–which is still another hour away. It is such a miserable place: dirty, small, kind of angry. THere are two really bad restaurants (I’ve barely eaten in days). Me and a few friends rented a big house and decided to share it with others to help get the cost down. But the landlord freaked out at the fact that everyone else in town has rented their houses for much more money than he got from us, so he used the excuse of us having more guests to raise our rent. Which means that we are now paying more money for a crappy house with lots of people and one toilet that is now stuffed up because it can’t handle so many people. It’s really gross. Another reason not to eat for days.
Oh, yeah, there’s a war going on not far from here. It sure doesn’t feel like it here. I’ve gotten concerned emails from friends and family, but the only concern I have, and most reporters have here, is to get in to Iraq. The story, of course, is there. I’ve been here for three days and I feel like I’ve done every story possible. Gone to the border. Talked to refugees (there are about 270, mostly Sudanese, not a lot). Talked to some locals. It all feels very small compared to what’s happening on the other side of the border. There is so much nervous energy among the journalists. It’s actually incredibly annoying. I want to get to the story as fast as the next guy, but it seems very clear that we’re not going to get in until the Iraqi border is no longer in Iraqi hands. It still is now (even though two major air bases a few miles past it fell to American and British troops recently). So, we’re not going anywhere. The Jordanian government is sending mixed signals about whether they’ll let us pass into Iraq when the moment arrives. I’ve signed up with a bunch of reporters to go into Iraq in a convoy of four cars. Which means we all do things together. They are all so fucking gung-ho it makes me sick. They want to get up at the crack of dawn every day, go wait at the border. I explain