As I peered out the window as we came in for landing, all I kept thinking was …I’m so thirsty. I had been in deserts before, in India and the US, but this was different. As far as I could see was arid, dry, flat land. Not a speck of green in sight. This feeling of the alien was enhanced when our taxi driver drove us through a landscape that was identical to those you constantly see on the news.
This is a hurdle that many (most?) people from the west, especially North America, will have when traveling in this area of the world. In the same way the Eiffel tower is synonymous with romance, the Middle East is associated with only negative views through our mainstream media. It’s very hard to turn off the part of your brain that is recalling all the things it’s seen for most of it’s life.
For me, my anxiety finally started to wane when we headed out along the concrete block streets to grab some dinner. When we entered a small shop two young workers greeted us with warm smiles and offered us a falafel ball to sample, then joked with us about Nick eating two. At that point I realized that no matter how un-prejudice I pride myself on being, we are all products of our environments
After a sleep at our beautiful hotel in Madaba, an area outside Amman, we got in a cab to explore a bit of the area. Our first stop was at Mt. Nebo, which is where Moses was promised the Promised Land. The site itself wasn’t exceptional, as the church is under construction, but it was pretty neat to look out over the hill and see Jerusalem and other parts of Israel.
From here we proceeded to the Dead Sea. It’s a widely known fact that Nick is incapable of floating in water, so he was extremely excited to finally experience weightlessness.
The whole experience is surreal, as we bobbed there at the lowest point on this planet and couldn’t move around properly in the water, with different parts of our bodies popping to the surface with every movement. The air is filled with giggles of adult laughter as everyone tests out the limits of the high sodium H20
When Nick got some in his eyes and certain areas on my body started to burn, we decided it was time to wash the salty film off our bodies before we started to rust.