Mar 16 2006

Ramallah- Amman trip costs two Hundred dollars

Published by at 8:50 am under Blogs,Travel Blues

By Daoud Kuttab

March 9, 2006

I paid through my nose this week to get from Ramallah to Amman and the bridge wasn’t crowded like in the summer time.

It all started when I had to make an appointment at 2pm in Ramallah. The meeting went till 2:30 and by the time I took a taxi (for 20 shekes) to the Qalandia checkpoint it was already 2:45. The line was not long but by the time I got out it was already close to 3. I hailed a taxi and haggled him to the normal price of 150 shekels.

When I got to the bridge terminal it was already about 3:45pm. I know that the bridge closes at 4. I paid 150 shekels for the Jerusalem permit and 136 shekels exit tax. But when I tried to go to the passport control the Israeli official in charge of the bridge said I can’t leave on the Jet bus parked outside because this is only for foreigners. I screamed and shouted but to no avail. I had no choice but to take the Qumran VIP service. I made a big complaint about it being a monopoly and that the high charge for the 4 kilometer ride is nothing less than theft but to no avail.

I had to pay $ 82 just to get in a van that was 20 minutes late in coming. On the Jordanian side I finished very quickly but was unable to find a shared taxi so I had to take a special taxi which I succeeded in haggling to JD 12. So the total cost of the trip from Ramallah to Amman was 456 shekels, $ 82, and JD 12 which comes out to about $200.

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