Travel time…Jordan

Written as a guilty retrospective, I felt a little culpable for almost leaving out Jordan.  On reflection it was entirely unjustified, despite spending only 5 days there.  The people left an enduring impression.  On this basis I have annotated this homage to the country to ensure I did my time some justice.

Enchanting Petra

Enchanting Petra, Jordan

I just want to say at this juncture I am having the most wonderful time, totally consumed by all that has been going on around me and completely captivated by my audience. Floating like a butterfly.

4 responses to “Travel time…Jordan”

  1. Crossing the border from Syria into Jordan, (Ram’tha / De’era) the bus made the short journey to the capital Amman. Arriving early I made my way to Il Bilaal, the old town area of Amman. Amman itself is spread far and wide over numerous hills, each steep and winding. The people are relaxed, easy-going, approachable and helpful.

    They are colourful too. Walking through the local market I couldn’t help but notice one gentleman. Wearing an oversized, glowing yellow suit, blue kipper tie. Raised voice, hands pointing this way and that. He was overstated, but in the bric-a-brac nature of such markets, in an almost understated kind of way. In the background, out of nowhere, suddenly belted out a Bee Gees track. “… well you can tell by the way I walk, i’m a ladies man, no time to talk… ” That had me rolling.

    Steet Life, Amman

    Street Life, Amman

  2. I decided to catch the local bus to the southern terminal to enquire about minibuses to Petra. “Do you go to Wahadat bus station please?”. “Jama Janoop? yes, on, on”.

    The man sitting opposite me pointed to his mobile phone. He tapped in a number, uttered a few words and then handed me the phone. “Hello?” I asked. “Hello Mister, you want to go to the southern bus station? okay, no problem. The bus driver will drop you near to it, and point you in the right direction. Its about a 5 minute walk from the drop off point.” “Shukran”. “Your welcome.” I handed back the phone.

    Service Taxis are white taxi cabs (as opposed to the more common, yellow variety) that basically pick up people in transit for destinations around town. People jump in and out – the taxi is always full from start to finish. There’s a business idea in there somewhere.

  3. A few days in and I found myself in Petra, weaving my way through narrow canyons, admiring the Nabatean legacy – facades that melted into the rock surfaces – the sheer scale of what remains is almost too much to take in. A second days site-seeing allowed me to climb up to the monastery. I took advantage of the solitude and caught up on some reading.

    On returning to Amman, I stopped at the local shopkeepers, and (ofcourse) we got talking. “When you go to the airport, take a service taxi to Jaama-al-Shammal and a bus to Queen Alia from there. It will cost you considerably less” “Thank you, I’ll take a bottle of water and a cheese croissant please”.

    Around Petra

    Around Petra

  4. I have given this some thought. To understand the Middle East a little, you have to witness it. On the face of it there’s a precarious balance between peoples cultural and religious heritage, something that appears to be dutifully upheld, and a surge towards modernity. Despite the pressures that modern life afford, there seems little to suggest people would give up what they have inherited. I can feel there’s an innate sense of pride in this – holding on to beliefs, values and an unbridled conviction in their identity and way of life.

    This conviction seems to give people the direction and motivation they need. My western sensibilities are perhaps a little too delicate, too flowery for the hardened people of this beautiful land. I can’t help feeling they are way beyond my sentiment.

    Around Amman

    Around Amman

    Elated, I found a sugar cane drink vendor. I wanted to hug the guy, but was worried he would run off without serving me. Taken cold. Half a Jordanian Dinar.

    For travel time in Malaysia, click here.
    For travel time in Vietnam, click here.
    For travel time in Syria, click here.
    For travel time in Turkey, click here.
    For travel time in Laos, click here.
    For travel time in Cambodia, click here.
    For travel time in Thailand, click here.
    For travel time in Myanmar, click here.
    To go to the start of this blog, click here.
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