“Courtesy is the one coin you can never have too much of or be stingy with.” John Wanamaker
So, back up the hill. There I saw that there were few people in this very large pool, so I put all of my stuff into my locker so I would be unencumbered and could go for a swim.
There were two little boys waiting to use the ladder, on which a non-Jordanian man was standing while he chatted with his friends.
When I got there, he moved off the ladder and I waved the little boys to go ahead. The older boy (maybe 7 or 8) nodded no and gestured for me to go first. In the meantime, the littler one (maybe 4) had started down the ladder. The older boy berated the younger boy, pulled him off the ladder so I could go down first.
The water in the pool was very cold and clear. I swam for 10 minutes or so and then I was done. I went into the changing room and saw only one shower open, which didn’t have a curtain. I used it anyway, and then went to put my clothing on. It was difficult to find anywhere to put anything down, because there were maybe 6-8 Chinese girls there with their bags, etc. spread out everywhere. I got dressed and was thankful that the towel had been packaged in a large plastic bag, because I was able to put my wet swimsuit in it.
(If you are thinking that I was incredibly unprepared for this trip- and should have had a cover up, sunscreen, a hat, and a bag for my wet suit- you’re absolutely right. Working in the office until 6 p.m. every day seriously lessens the likelihood of daylight by the time I get to the hotel. And I’m not going to walk to a store in the dark.
I did have sunscreen when I was in Nigeria, but I packed it in the bag to go back with Tricia. I thought it was going to be winter here.
I have to admit that I almost dozed in the car on the way back, I was so relaxed. Then we stopped at the store Omar had recommended. It was fantastic. Upon entering, a man gave me some wonderful cream for my hands. Then there were all sorts of things to see.
Omar had them try to work with the card that I use to take money out of my checking account, but of course that didn’t work. (I had left my credit cards back at the hotel). When I told them their items were lovely, but I was going to have to come back when I had money, they assured me there was no problem.
The plan was that Omar would take me back to the hotel, where I could get the money for them. At that point, I was very concerned that the ATM would still not be in operation and that I wouldn’t be able to give them the money. They solved that problem by deciding that one of them would ride back to the city with us to swipe my charge card in the hotel!
I probably spent much too much in the store, but they kept giving me huge discounts. There were lots of buy 2, get the third one “free,” and I purchased enough that they threw in some of my items for free. I now have some spectacular gifts, predominantly made by Bedouins. And for those of you who know my shopping habits, you may be surprised to learn that there is neither jewelry nor clothing among my purchases!
Now I’m back at the hotel, sunburnt and fed. I ordered room service as soon as I got here, because I never had any lunch. I just took some buns and fruit to the Dead Sea and decided not to eat at the restaurant there because, at that time, I wasn’t hungry.
On the drive, Omar told me about different places to visit and gave me a book on Jordan that was so lovely I purchased one for myself when we got to the store. The plan for next weekend (I think) is to leave Thursday night (we’ll see if I have the energy to do this after conducting training for five days for 30 people!!). We would drive to Wadi Rum, which is more than half way to Petra. There, I will have Bedouin food, watch them dance and also watch a simulated wedding. Omar told me that the sunset and the sunrise there are very beautiful.
In the morning (not too long after sunrise, I imagine) we’ll drive to Petra and stay the night. On Saturday, we would drive back to Amman- with enough time so I’ll be able to set up for the second round of training that begins on Sunday.
The following weekend, we spoke about going to Aqaba, where I will be able to snorkel in the Red Sea, within sight of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. “The Red Sea is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, offering some of the most colorful sea life anywhere.” (I’m quoting from the book).
May your learning be sweet.