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The Locals of Petra

Petra, Jordan
Katie Archer

Stoic from afar, poised perfectly in his element, he’ll soon pester you with ‘special’ deals to reach the Treasury quickly via horse-drawn carriage. “A good price, only for you, my friend.”
He gazes over the ruins, the same sluggish look in his eyes all day long. “Is he tired? Is he bored? Is he exhausted from the beating sun?” I ask him. He does not respond.
His music echoes across the entire valley, filling the many nooks and crannies down below. It is both eerie and incredible beautiful. I wonder if he plays for himself or for the tourists. Soon his phone rings. “Allo. Masa’u Al-khair.”
The suffocating heat. The hot sand. The sweaty tourists. The same trail again and again. “I would lose my mind.” He slowly blinks.
Sometimes he sits motionless for what seems like eternity. “What is he thinking about?” Other times he invites you to have mint tea with him. “What is he thinking about?” I take another sip.

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