November 11. 2015
When I wake up around 7 o clock Allahn is already busy building up his tea stall. We spend about one hour chatting without understanding each other – no problem, we have fun. He shows me how to fix a scarf on my head like Arabs do and suddenly I really look like one of them!
A little later I climb down to the bank of the dead sea which nowadays is a little below 500m below sea level – the lowest point on earth. Even though I feel a cold coming up I have to take a swim of course. The “water” is surprisingly warm and I bounce on it like cork in the water – its real fun! Filling up a bottle I want to take as a souvenir I am surprised by the weight. It feels like twice as heavy as usual freshwater but still is crystal clear!
Before I leave I take Allahn to the village which is about two kilometers away to refill his freshwater. He has no car and I have seen nobody but him at his place – no family, no costumers – I wonder what his story is when finally leaving. I pass the expensive hotels at the edge of the dead sea and then take the first possibility to go left to take a look at the border to Palestine/west bank. I really want to see river Jordan which is probably one of the shortest but still most important rivers in the world – for sure the lowest.
I wonder what expects me there as it is a very sensitive area and I am a little nervous when I stop at the military checkpoint. I try to explain my desire to see the river but they don’t really understand as they speak nearly no English at all. “Wake Major” the guard says smilingly – all seems good even though heavy guarded. After the guard is banging on a metal door for minutes the Major finally wakes up and I get the weakest handshake ever.
He wants to see my passport so I go back to get it with the guards who search my car while I get the passport. They don’t search very motivated then take my passport and bring it to the Major who has already called somebody to ask how to handle me. I try to explain again I want to see the river but I don’t think they understand. He examines my passport very close and asks me several times where I am from and where it is written in the passport. I find out that there is not even one Arabic letter in my passport so he can not read the name of my country. We translate Name, date of issue, date of expire and so on with his cellphone before he takes pictures of every single page in my passport with all the visas.
He again calls his boss and slowly tries to explain – “You are very welcome in Jordan but cannot enter here.” I am a little concerned now, thinking he might not let me go back inside the country – maybe send me to Israel or something with all my stuff in the rental car in Jordan.. He asks me for my religion and then suddenly tells me to go back and take the first to the left. I have seen a sign before showing the way to a Baptist church there so maybe he thinks I just wanted to pray.
However I am happy not to be arrested by now and go back to the car. I hit the road, take the first left and pass the church – a police car appears blocking the way to the border and when I turn around they follow me for half a kilometer. When I accelerate they disappear and I turn to the main road to Amman. That was quite scary all together.
Amman is a huge town with crazy traffic – I am glad to have all the maps downloaded to my GPS. First hotel I stop is way too expensive and far away from the city center, surrounded by shopping malls and living areas. I continue towards city center and the second hotel (New Park Hotel at N31.95607˚ E035.93151˚) I find has a nice price a beautiful receptionist and a clean room with wifi and hot water.
Now there is one thing I have to tell as most people always ask me about girls in muslim countries. I have to admit the girls here could in no way be more sexy and beautiful without hijab. Their smiles and the beauty in their eyes are just incredible – I fall in love several times a day!
The only disadvantage about the hotel is that is in a valley in the city and my muscles are still sore from all the steps I had to take yesterday. I am glad the cute receptionist tells me a way to a great restaurant which is on the same level as the hotel – no steps and amazing cheap food are waiting for me there. After getting amazing Arab food (humus and falafel which I always thought was Israeli) its already dark and I go back to the hotel to fall asleep soon.
Allahn and me – in the Background you see the dead sea and Israel on the other side
way to the check point (I am not allowed to take a picture of the checkpoint)
arriving in Amman