This weekend was our only free weekend in Jordan. CRAZY. On Friday Christina, Larry and I went to Souq Jara, which is always pleasant, though of course I didn’t buy anything because I am faqeera jidan. And then after that we went downtown for a shopping expedition. I bought flip-flops and a pajama set for the Dead Sea (for the comfort of my feet and for modesty, respectively) and then a skirt BECAUSE I REALLY WISH I HAD THOUGHT TO PACK A SKIRT OKAY I DON’T HAVE TO JUSTIFY MY PURCHASES TO YOU OR TO ANYONE ELSE INCLUDING MYSELF. (So there.)
And then today! Today we went to the Dead Sea. I thought we were going to have to taxi a bus to Madaba and then find a taxi from there, but we ended up finding a bus that went directly where we needed to go. (Or rather, passed by right where we wanted to go and let us get off on the side of the highway.) [There was a little voice in the back of my head saying, “Guys, how are we going to get back to Amman if the bus doesn’t actually stop here?” But more on that later!]
The entrance fee to Amman beach was advertised as 4JD per person for foreigners, but apparently it had been raised to 10JD. To which my reaction could be summarized as HELL TO THE NO. So I shamelessly pleaded with the ticket man. “بس، نحن طلاب في الجامعة الأردنية!” And then we showed our University of Jordan IDs and got in for the Jordanian price (3.5JD), and justice lived another day.
The Dead Sea was nice. I became hyper-aware of all of the little cuts on my body (and acquired a new one via those damn crystallized salt rocks–OUCH). It was fun, but sort of overwhelming the second time around. The bobbing like a cork, the slathering oneself with mud, the oily feeling of the water, the wincing once the burn hits your crotch–eh, been there, done that. Except this time I apparently got some sort of rash on the back of my neck. ?! I would have liked to have spent more time there, just to try to work up some more excitement in myself, but most everyone else wanted to leave, so we did. (Note to self: independent travel with a group that requires more than one taxi SUCKS.)
…which is where we ran into the “ohya buses are infrequent and don’t actually stop here” problem. We sat alongside the highway hoping a bus would come along for a while before negotiating with a bus that had come to drop off a bunch of people to take us to the nearest town for 10JD all together. Then we found out that the nearest town wouldn’t actually have any restauarants or buses in it either, so we went to a slightly bigger town for 15JD (~2 a piece, negotiated down from 20JD). This “slightly bigger town” consisted of about four buildings on each side of the road. Greaat.
We ate lunch there (my most expensive meal yet at a whopping 3.5JD for chicken tikka, poori, and Miranda), then went to investigate about getting back to Amman. There was, of course, a taxi driver who said that there was no bus but that he would take us, no problem. Sigh. Then this helpful man came up and asked if we spoke Arabic. For some reason everyone’s response to this always seems to be “no.” And I’m like… seriously, guys? So I talked to him and he told us that we were on the wrong side of the road and there would be a bus going to Amman on the other side of the highway soon. (He said that in Arabic! And I understood him! It was wonderful.) So we caught a bus back to Amman (taking only a minor detour through the middle of fucking nowhere so that the driver could pick up his phone from what appeared to be his house) and finally arrived back at home in time to watch Germany whoop Argentina’s ass. :(
…and all of this cost me less than that damn skirt. AGHK BUYER’S REMORSE. But it’s a nice, long, stretchy skirt, and I wore it today, and I will get a lot of use out of it here and in the future, so JUST STOP TALKING ABOUT IT OKAY OKAY.
Anyway, the reason I keep not updating is because my life is not very interesting that often. Or, rather, I imagine some people would find it completely fascinating, but this is my second summer in Amman and I’m just studying an awful lot and trying not to get run over by the insane traffic. Between, that is, my wonderful weekend adventures. Next weekend: PETRA AND WADI RUM. YES YES YES.