On the streets of the town of As-Salt, I come cross little children playing.

‘What’s your name?’ I ask.
‘Wat sure nem?’ says one of the boys.

‘Me, Su-Min. You?’ I try again, this time with hand gestures.
‘Mee soomin. Yoo?’ he repeats after me.

I laugh, and he laughs after me.

I turn to the back page of my travel book and carefully read out ‘shoo es mak?’, to which he replies ‘Mohammed’. ‘Shoo es mak? Shoo es mak?’ I ask this to all the children who have now gathered around me.

Unfortunately, my glee and pride at this conversational breakthrough doesn’t last long when Mohammed carries on asking me questions in Arabic, to all of which I have to read out ‘maa fa he met (I don’t understand)’.

DAY 4: Saturday, 21 Sept 2013. As-Salt