I stayed two nights in Amman with my friend, Jon. We drove past the three hotels that were bombed earlier this month; all have been repaired and are reopened. But, while traces of the bombings have been neatly erased, life in Amman is changed.
At every restaurant, bar and hotel we visited, we were greeted outside by a guard or two or three, who checked us with a hand-held wand of the sort that is ubiquitous at airport security checks in the United States. Big hotels have installed walk-through metal detectors far from the actual entrances. On Saturday, we drove to the eastern desert to visit Byzantine and Ummayid ruins, and we were questioned twice at police road blocks. We may have been stopped because we were driving a rental car, but other cars were stopped as well.
All of this is new, Jon told me, since the bombings. To me, the heightened security made Jordan feel like Israel.