woensdag 26 augustus 2015

Scammers and screaming drivers

And then we finally, after months of preparation, arrived at Queen Alia airport in Amman, Jordan.
Of course most of my dear readers have been on an airport before. Airports are actually always quite similar. The same grumpy customs officers, multiple shops to buy souvenirs and the eternal struggle with your luggage. But at my arrival in Amman there was an instant, unpleasant, encounter with the selling agents of an exchange office (for money). Let me share my first experiences and impressions in Jordan with you!

After Sophie and I got swindled by this salesman we went to the customs office to get an entry visa for Jordan. The strange thing is, that you actually need Jordanian Dinars (the local currency) to buy this entry visa. After the usual questions about our reason of visit and places we will stay, our passports got, the so much valued (40 JOD = approx. 63 Eu!), stamp for the entry visa and we continued our way in to Jordan. It immediately struck me that everything looked very 'Middle-East'. Then I mean Middle-East from a western point of view. Because of my father I have watched a lot of Al Jazeera (the news channel) in my life, so I was not surprised by the chaotic traffic and the amount of Asian cars. Nevertheless I was surprised by the bad road from the airport to Amman. I expected this road to be a good one since the floor at the Queen Alia airport, at which we arrived, was literary shining from the amount cleaning products they use.

I could not help but smile when I heard people shouting at each other in Arabic in the Ammanni traffic. All this shouting and swearing in Arabic can sound a bit scary for someone who visits an Arabic country for the first time, but for me it actually felt like coming home. I could already hear my friends back home compare the streets of Amman with a map from the popular shooter game call of duty: modern warfare.  After we checked in at our hostel in the downtown of Amman,it was all ready 00.30 a.m. and everything around our hostel was closed. But of course in a Capital of a nation there is always someplace where there is life. I only had to walk about 3 blocks to run in to a lively street: King Hussein 1 avenue. There were a lot of children and woman in the streets on that hour, but of course the bars and shops were manned by men. I chose a nice restaurant typical Middle-Eastern restaurant to have dinner and got served with an excellent meal of falafel and humus with olive oil and bread. I only payed around 3 JOD for the meal, and cheap food is the ideal way to make a dutchie happy ;). The people in the restaurant were really nice and asked me several times if the food was good enough and where I am from after the notice the Moroccan accent. They all like the fact that a Moroccan brother is visiting their country and all wished me a pleasant stay in Jordan.

After the meal it was time to get back to the hostel and get some sleep. When I eventually was laying in bed I could not help again to smile and think "This is going to be a great week!"

Ma'a Salam!

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten