I have been spending the last half hour trying to phrase a first para to the blog that would describe the jewel that is Jordan and the aura that it carried for me. Now as a last resort to save time, as a GI-normous assignment I must begin in half an hour is beginning to look larger and daunting by the minute, I have decided that it is best to begin by describing how words fail to do justice to the experience!
It was May 2010 that my mother and I decided to visit Jordan – five days that we sped across the length and breadth of the tiny country, it was surreal – like a magic carpet ride!
(Pictures taken here are either by My mother – Gauri Trivedi, our guide(s) but mostly – Moi … the camera and I usually do not part!)
Mom turned 50, I just graduated from college. Despite my grandparents being ill, so having cancelled the trip in early May and then re-scheduling it to May 15th to May 20th, upon landing there we realised – some intangible force had brought us there for when we returned our positive energies made ‘home’ a richer time with family too!
They say the Dead Sea has healing powers – well despite my mother’s little accident of getting the salt water sting her eyes and my leading her slightly blinded to the open fresh-water showers – it may have just healed our restless spirits and very sore limbs!
Ah Jordan! Bustling Amman, where every shop or establishment shows how much loved the Monarchy there is, highways through the desert where something constantly reminds you – this is what the Bible talks about!
Petra, you walk through and wonder – how did travellers today discover it so late (voted as a Wonder of the world, it is jaw-dropping to think this was the lost city where cultures fused into another dimension) and the Dead Sea – well that is self-explanatory.
Each had their stories, we would leave salivating for more – wanting to see more and learn more about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, natural phenomenons and the influences of the Ottoman, Byzantine, Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Arab civilizations.
But the true Perks of being in the gorgeous kingdom that is Jordan – for my mother and me – two single women travelling through ; Jordan was where the most handsome men in the world smiled and bowed to us.
Even the hawkers and guides, mostly whose constant attention is otherwise unwanted – flattered us a great deal; especially my Mother who told everyone – “I not pretty Indian girl, I 50 years old today!!” And in return she would get – “Awww, no Madam – how can this girl be daughter- you two sisters???”
And the best thing about Jordan was – Mahmoud.
Our guide in Petra, who came to us as he was the only non-smoking guide there – who knew every bit about the Nebateans, the tombs, the archways, Al-Khazneh – and we later learned – Mahmoud knew everyone and everyone knew Mahmoud – the prodigal son of the local tribe!!!
For that flavour of exoticism, History that comes alive and a chance to admire some of the most beautiful faces of all kinds of people in the world – Jordan , a magic carpet ride through time is a MUST-SEE!