Saturday, 16 May 2009

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Today we didn’t exactly make it to Wadi Rum. This place we’ve chosen to hole up in is just SO laid back we can’t seem to break out! Sometimes, local politeness can be astonishing: the shopkeeper just a few moments walk away is always helpful and refreshingly welcoming. After giving us a knockdown price on some bread, he repeated “Yes, you are most welcome; very welcome; you are welcome, enjoy your day; you are very welcome!” The furthest out that we went today was down to the local convenience store to get some breakfast and then to the pharmacy, where Jon got a hefty wad of pills against travellers’ diarrhoea and amoebic dysentery. Jon is not one for going to the doctors easily, but it finally clicked after going to the toilet every half an hour or so for the last six days, that he needed some treatment.
Moving on, the terrace is a great place to meet other travellers and exchange tales of mysterious locations the world over, for Petra is one of those magnetic draws which attracts fascinating people from all over the globe.
Our first character this afternoon was meant to be on a plane back home to California, but instead had decided to begin the next chapter of his life right here. And what a fascinating life, taking in the setting up of a school in rural Burma, as well as travels in South East Asia, Nepal and Spain. Good conversation always tends to draw in worthy participants, and soon another transatlantic guy was relating to us his odyssey from Egypt, via Jordan all the way to Taiwan.
An Australian also joined the group, but was strangely cagey when we asked him where he lived now. “Somewhere else” came the blunt reply. As we all started on the all-you-can-eat buffet (yes, you’ve now guessed the REAL reason we’re still here…) the conversation turned incomprehensibly peculiar. “Do you speak Swedish?” said American 2 to Australian 1. “No, but I live there and my mother is Lutheran”. How weird. American 2 then announced that he was going to live in Sweden because he could get citizenship because his father was Lutheran, although he had never been there. This would have baffled us all night if we had not quickly cottoned on to the fact that they were talking in code. For these guys were really talking about Israel and their Jewish parentage. How careful people need to be, even in Jordan!
There’s one other little fella we met here at the hostel. He’s so curious for everything he even once ended up marooned inside the rubbish bin!

Then it was time to go to the movies. What was showing? Well, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ of course, for the real star of the film is the Lost City of Petra. After the movie, we saw the girl at reception. “Can we stay tomorrow night as well please?” Ah well, we’ll make it to the Dead Sea eventually…

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