What Would Peter Andre Do?: The Mile High Book Club

on Thursday, April 15, 2010
Just moments after I landed at Aman airport, I knew I was in some sort of magical dreamland. There, with its bright sign glaring in my eyes at the crack of dawn was my own private Mecca... Shawarmarama! Yes, a fast food airport 'restaurant' dedicated to the finest snack the Middle East has to offer. I love how they manage to make it all catchy consumer buzzwordy and am almost tempted to put my vegetarianism on hold to try the tender lamb goodness. But I didn't come here to snack. I came here to book shop! (Well, actually, to be precise I came here because this was the cheapest way to get to Israel - business class on Royal Jordanian costs less than economy on El Al. And the flight attendants aren't abusive, steroid-infused, overbuffed, ex-army schmucks who would just as soon krav maga your face as give you week old chickpeas.)

It is almost as if the Jordanian gods of literature provision foresaw my Mile High Book Club challenge, calling their airport shop "Top 10 Books Cafe". The name, however, presented something of a problem. Each block of shelves had a bold sign with the words "Top 10 Books". There was no actual numbering so, given that Aman was my third airport, I had to use Middle Eastern logic to work out which book was at number three. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular form of reasoning, allow me to explain. As I have learnt from far too many visits to falafel stalls in Israel, the only logic to Middle Eastern consumerism is that there is no logic. Anything and everything is fair game. Pushing in line, grabbing random salads, shouting at other customers... it's all good. And there is still no guarantee you will end up getting what you want.

So there I stood in front of the most prominent shelf, surveying the rather random assortment of books on display. I figure numbers one and two were the two titles stacked on the top shelf. Second shelf, by the same logic, contained books three and four. Now, I'm not sure whether Jordan reads from right to left like Israel, or left to right. The two books on offer were Katie Price's latest ghostwritten blockbuster Paradise or Poppy Adams's Costa nominated debut, The Behaviour of Moths. As I pondered such promising alternatives I asked myself the one question any self-respecting Aussie would ask: What would Peter Andre do? Well, that made things rather easy. Katie Price (aka super skank Jordan)is Andre's ex-wife and their split has been anything but amicable. Indeed, Katie made Aussie Pete cry on British TV. On that basis alone I refuse to read a word that she has written, even if the only part of the book she actually did pen was her name (and even that I'm somewhat doubtful about).

I grabbed Poppy Adams's book and took it to the cashier. Gazing forlornly over his shoulder at Shawarmarama I handed over my dinars. And somehow ended getting a spinach and feta pastry thrown into the bargain.

So, book number three at the third airport: The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams


Post a Comment