01 August, 2021

Dead Sea Diary

The extraordinarily salty water body packs many a pleasurable — and painful — punch

Illustration by Saahil
Dead Sea Diary
The Most Painful Sea

I remember from my school geography that the Dead Sea is one of the saltiest on earth. I never realised its implications until I felt the sea against my skin. It is so saline that it does not even feel like water—rather a concoction of oil and mud. My hosts had warned me to not shave for a couple of days before my visit. Even minor cuts can flare up in the brackish water. And most importantly, do not let the water get into your eyes. Updated with these instructions, I waded in carefully. The buoyancy felt odd in the beginning, but after half an hour or so, I began enjoying the bobbing. A while later, I saw two Indian tourists at the edge, one of whom gushed “kitna accha paani hai” (such beautiful water). She stooped down and before I could warn her, cupped her...

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