There and Back Again: A Joyful Return to Jordan

We have made it back and this is our tale:

We left for the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge Border Crossing north of the Dead Sea at about 2pm on Saturday afternoon. We were very graciously driven right up to the border checkpoint by some friends and they bid us a fond farewell. Packs upon our backs, we headed into the fray.

And it wasn't too bad.

I mean, the flies were everywhere and we had to wait for several people who were sharing the same brain cells to figure out what they had done with our passports. But we got across to Jordan and happened to meet some American students who were told to leave class in Cairo because of a swine flu outbreak (fancy that, an epidemic occurring in Cairo! Imagine!) We split a cab up to Amman and we found the Sydney Hostel without a problem. It is on Prince Muhammad Street, right downtown and we were greeted by a very friendly receptionist. Since the dorm rooms were under renovation, he "upgraded" us to a private room at no additional charge. Don't get me wrong, we were thrilled to be in a private room, but "upgrade" is certainly not the verb to use. All the same, it was a very inexpensive place to stay and provided us with very adequate accommodations.

We set out immediately for Wild Jordan, a swanky little cafe/boutique that sits at the end of a street where we bought one of our favorite paintings last summer of a line of Arab sheikhs done in very Impressionistic style. We had a little feast involving coconut fried shrimp, a chicken wrap, curry and two fantastic smoothies. Mine was a mint-and-lime lemonade and Brooke's was a banana coconut Croccan. We rolled back down the street to our lodgings and fell asleep.

The next day, we marched up King Hussein Street leading out of downtown in between Jebel Webdeh and Jebel Hussein up into Abdali. My dear friend Hassan has his shop right on that street, across from a dilapidated Daihatsu dealer. We met his next door shop keeper, Bashir, whose brother works in Utah selling cars. We chatted with him for about 20 minutes while Hassan made his way back from downtown. It was so good to see him again, still chain smoking and very proud of the new wall in his studio and the recent success of his calligraphy. He also showed us the entry he will send in soon for an upcoming conference of Arab art and poetry in the UAE next year. It was a banner-sized excerpt from the Quran and he pointed out one tiny mistake where his son had jogged his arm while he was drawing. More on little Abdullah in a second.

After agreeing to have lunch with his family the next day, we said farewell and got a spot of kunafa, something with which I feel into deep smit last summer that full of crunchy sugar on top and piping-hot goat cheese on the bottom (Way better than advertised! I swear!).

More on the Jordan trip coming up after Brooke has her meeting with the group that is hiring her to teach English.

1 comment:

  1. Hi sweet things - I had a wee look at the protest pictures. Holy Holy Holy.