People will tell you not to go to places at the weekend. It's too crowded.
In some ways they're right. I like the Louvre on a rainy Thursday afternoon, for instance, or Venice early in the morning, half past six with the sun just rising out of the mists. I like Bermondsey Market when it's still nearly dark and the sizzling of bacon is only just beginning to make that meaty, salty aroma rise from the breakfast stand.
But visiting Jerash on a weekend was wonderful - apart from the fact that no one asked for my ticket going in. Jerash was full of Jordanian families enjoying themselves.
Little girls pelted across the great oval colonnaded entrance to the city playing football. Little boys tried to climb up every pile of rocks in sight. One climbed a pillar and jumped off, and then suddenly all his friends were doing it, flying, arms spread, for a brief moment before hitting the ground with the thump that pushed all the breath out of their lungs.
Men sat on tartan or tiger-striped picnic rugs smoking their shishas and looking over the ancient hippodrome towards Hadrian's gate. Young women posed for the camera in front of the Nyphaeum; a young man climbed as high as he could on the temple of Zeis, to the highest point of the city, and sat completely unafraid of the precipice below.
And through the whole city wandered flocks of goats and sheep with their herdsmen.
As the crowds died down I wandered towards the gate. The two men sharing a shisha were still there; we had a little chat. One little girl was left kicking a football, but her older brother grabbed it, and her, and off they went. It was a nice, low key, end to the day.
Or so I thought. But just outside the gate were the bright lights of a funfair; how could I resist?
And to my great surprise, I heard my name being called. It was the younger of the two shisha smokers, and he wanted to show me his sister's new baby. I've never seen a prouder uncle, or a man more in love, even though there was, I'd guess, at least a 25 year difference in their ages. The whole family had their portraits taken, and then uncle was left, literally, holding the baby as sister and her husband decided to take a ride on one of the more sedate attractions.
That's Jerash at the weekend. It was much more boring when I went back the next day.