"Are you or aren't you not going to Syria? Yes or no?", she asked in an annoyed manner.
"Ummm... I guess... I won't be going to Syria", I responded. I knew full well that an Israeli stamp in my passport would erase the possibility of traveling to other Middle Eastern countries, save a select few. I could have had the stamp on a seperate piece of paper stapled to my passport. I was, however, tired from a long minibus ride and just wanted to be in Jordan and done with the day. In addition my judgement was clouded by dark brown eyes with long lashes and other equally exotic attributes.
It was, of course, only after that fatefull stamp was laid down that I started hearing about how great Damascus was. "Excellent". "My favorite city in the Middle East". "The most friendly people you'll ever meet". "You have to go if you have a whole month in Turkey". Crap.
Now, in the Cairo airport, kicking myself for not saving money by not getting a multiple entry visa to Egypt, I had a great idea. I took my new $15 Egyptian visa sticker and placed it directly over the Israeli entry and exit stamps.
Hmmm...it can't possibly be this easy to erase a country from your passport. I'll keep you posted.