Here I am in Amman, Jordan - my last full day in the Middle East as I fly back to London tomorrow. It's been a great tour and such a positive thing for me - full of all sorts of new experiences, making new friends, seeing fantastic sights, learning more about a culture so foreign from ours but learning we are all the same inside. It's been great. Some of the people on our tour have been having a problem with accomodations, food, etc. but when you stay in hostels and the bathroom is down the hall you can put up with anything. Hey, I get my own bathroom every night to myself - yay. I thought we are going to have a mutiny on our hands last night - you get what you pay for.
Must confess I was just at Mickey D's as it's close to the hotel. Never thought I'd do that as I hate it but oh well...tonight is our farewell dinner with the group so should be fun.
Up early tomorrow as I get taken to the airport at 7 a.m. It will be sad to say goodbye to everyone knowing I will probably never see them again.
This morning we toured Jerash - a Roman city north of Amman. Interesting (I was imagining the chariots roaring about!) but we were all tired, sick or grumpy - or all three. Being on the road is hard work!!!
Yesterday was fun fun fun. The best part was floating in the Dead sea. I stayed in long enough to have the requisite picture taken but was paranoid about getting water in my eyes. Weird to be able to sit in the water and bob around! We then slathered up with the mud and after 10 minutes went into the water to wash off. We then spent the rest of our time going down the water slide at the pool and hollering like kids. (okay it was just me hollering!) I forgot to mention that a few days ago (losing track of time) we went snorkelling in the Red Sea. Okay mine was more splashing around and falling down in the water walking in my fins - Libby and I provided entertainment for the locals who were photographing us. I had problems breathing again so just bobbed around a bit - we wore wet suits. I had my photo taken in mine and will put it on my fridge to prevent me from overeating - let's just say it's pretty damn scary!!!
Anyway it's been quite the experience. Jordan is more prosperous than Egypt. It is funny as in Egypt when they ask where I am from they say "Canada Dry" without fail. In Jordan it is sweet as they say "You're welcome". I must say I like the Jordanians better than the Egyptians. Jordan is the one country in the world that has a good relationship with every country in the world - not neutral like Switzerland is but actually a positive relationship. Of course they get a lot of foreign aid which they have used to build hospitals and schools. 85% of their population gets free health care which is awesome.
I think I will miss hearing the call to prayer and the people of the Middle East will always have a special place in my heart. It's a tough place to live. For the first time in my life I kissed my Canadian passport.
Will post more on my trip and my thoughts on it with pictures when I get home.