I'm Anything But Ordinary

I'm Anything But Ordinary

18 March 2007

To Jordan and Beyond

~~~~ Indescribable

Oh so many updates!

Monday - Got up and went to Social Movements (yaaaay)! Turned in my paper then headed out in search of an ATM. After four failed attempts I trudged back to the Flat, picked up Chanda, got money exchanged, had Koshari for lunch, and headed to Khan al-Kaleli. I think Khan was Chanda's favorite. We bartered for stuff, had karkaday with a shop owner when we told him we didn't like Bush either (hahaha) :laugh: made lots of Egyptian man-friends. I bought myself an Eye of Horus, another headscarf, a wall hanging, and my own mini-hookah! Oh how I love it so. It's red and as small as they come. After several failed attempts I finally found the cartouche shop again for Chanda and it turns out that friendly guy also owns a hookah shop so he set us up with nice hookahs, pipes, sheeshah, and everything else we could possibly need. It was a lot of fun. After all that Katie called and said she was in Metro buying ingredients for feteer so we caught a cab back to Garden City, dropped off our purchases, and headed to the Soq to by some veggies for toppings. Then we made feteer... once more, it was hard, it was messy, it didn't turn out exactly how we planned, but it was good and, of course, we had fun.

Tuesday - Headed out to Historiography aka free time in the Library where I completed the assignment I was suppose to do in 15 minutes so Allison and I did crosswords on the computer for the rest of the time. After class I found a quiet corner on Main Campus and did homework until Egyptology. Went there and Brian mentioned a trip to Jordan he was planning for the weekend. Told him I had to think about it then went back to the flat to get some food. Chanda and Cori were hungry so we decided to walk over to Zamalek for the best falafel ever! Chanda claims she doesn't even really like falafel but she liked this one. We got a cab back to Garden City because we were running a little late and had a great conversation with our cab driver. He could speak English very well and he helped me with all the phrases I needed to know to help direct cab drivers. I can say "left" and "right" and "straight ahead" in arabic but I wanted to know how to say things like "take the next right" or "I can direct you from Tahrir Square" and he taught me and whenever I got anything right he would smile and say "bravo!" ... needless to say he got an extra pound! Then we met Katie and Dan and took a felucca ride. We watched the sunset and enjoyed the Nile... it was wonderful! Then Chanda had a little more shopping to do so we went back to Khan. We wandered around for a while. I bought a bracelet cuff for my Mom, a pair of earrings for Lindsay, and a headscark Cori had requested and then we stopped by a coffee shop and drank Mango Juice and Sahlab. There was a football game on tv and I've felt kinda obligated to pick an Egyptian team to cheer for since it's such a big deal here but the only team I knew was Zamalek so I picked that. Yeah, obviously that wasn't the best choice because everyone had the cafe was cheering for the other team... oh well, I tried. It was at about this time that Chanda and I decided special brownies and sheeshah would be a good ending to the night so we caught a cab over to Metro to get aluminum foil (where we ran into Adam :D ) and headed back to the flat... P.S. Special brownies and sheeshah? Dangerous combination!

Wednesday - 14 hours later... Chanda and I wake up still a little messed up! Have a slow start but finally make it to the Egyptian Museum. I think she found it a little overwhelming but still impressive. We started at the top so I could see some of the things I missed the first time. Then we met Katie for some fresh squeezed juice (because Chanda didn't get sick the entire time she was here and, of course, it was a post-it) and then came home for a shower and to get all pretty because we had reservations for the revolving restaurant. Wow, what an experience that was. It's the tallest revolving restaurant in the Middle East because it sits on top of the Grand Hyatt hotel on the 40th floor. I made the reservations for 8:00 because you can see the pyramids from the restaurant and I wanted to catch the sound and light show on them, which, I'm really glad I didn't pay 60 LE for because it really wasn't all that impressive. But the food was wonderful. I had a veggie pastry puff and creme brulee for dessert and the views were indescribable. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and a good sendoff for Chanda.

Thursday - Woke up early to get Chanda into a cab :( Went back to bed for a little bit then went to Historiography. After class Allison and I started working on our spring break plans and I went ahead and got my tickets for my flights. I am officially going to Rome and Athens for spring break! This is just my semester of all things ancient! Went to Egyptology and then hurried back to the flat to finish back because... I went to Jordan! It was just Brian and I but after a very stressful sendoff in the Cairo airport because of the awful traffic we arrived in Amman with little trouble. We got a cab to our hotel which was this cute little place with this amazing owner who was nothing but nice. We had a cute little room with a balcony. The only problem? IT SNOWS IN JORDAN!!! Yeah, I did not know that. So it was cold. Really cold. But we found a nice restaurant for dinner and warmed ourselves up with a little beer ;) Jordan's really has not drinking age as opposed to Egypt which just doesn't enforce it. Then we were kinda lame and went to bed early.

Friday - Got up early and had a yummy breakfast of warm bread, cheese, and coffee / tea at the hotel. Checked out and got a cab to Petra. After a relatively uneventful two hour drive we arrived in Petra. Dropped our stuff off at our hotel and headed to the site. Of all the experiences in my life, this one will stay with me the longest. Of course there was the obligatory stop at the treasury where the corny American tourist was blasting the Indiana Jones themesong but then Brian and I found a stairway that lead into the mountains. Really? the views there were even better then on Mt Sinai. It was wonderful. We finished exploring the site then got Italian from a restaurant just because the name made me giggle... Mystic Pizza. Then we headed back to the Petra site to have drinks in a bar called Cave Bar. The reason it has that name? Yeah, it's definitley a tomb from the 1st century BCE that has been turned into a bar. You can actually drink inside the tombs! How amazing!!! And they make this awesome drink called Petra Punch that's rum, fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, and sweetened pineapple juice. Yummmm. Came back to the hotel and organized our private driver for the Dead Sea the next day. Met some people from England who were watching Eragon in the lobby and invited me to join them. I was very tempted but the hot water had been turned on and a shower was calling my name... After that it was another early night.

Saturday (HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY) - Got up early again. Had another warm bread breakfast and met up with our driver for the day. His name was Abdallah. While he was a very sweet man who kinda reminded me of Saleh, he was at times a little too helpful. He droves us through the mountains of Petra until we met up with the Dead Sea Highway. Stopped by the Dead Sea and didn't understand why we didn't want to swim... ummm, it was cold! Took lots of pictures then continued onto Bethany Beyond the Jordan. This site is believed to be the baptismal site of Jesus. It was nice to see but, honestly? My favorite part was being so close to Israel we actually entered its territory for a little bit. I don't have any desire to go to Israel. In fact, I refuse to go, but just to be near it and be able to see it was kinda exciting. The mountains were really beautiful. Then we got back in the car and headed up Mount Nebo to see the site that is believed to be where Moses looked over into Israel then died. It was a cloudy day so we couldn't see but rumor has it you can see Jerusalem on a clear day. Sad. Then we moved on and after a quick food break for our driver in a local town we were dropped off at the airport. Said goodbye to Abdallah then hung out and waited for our flight. Ate a cheese sub and hot chocolate at the airport... pretty tastey! Exchanged Dinars back to Pounds and wandered around the dutyfree shop. Got on the plane and made it make to Cairo without a problem.

Jordan was a wonderful adventure. Petra really changed my life and reaffirmed by true belief in nature. I kept wanting to tell people I knew a Yousef (the Kennedy's of Jordan) and I missed Saleh terribley. But all-in-all? I am still in love with Cairo!

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