Recently, my friend & I took a trip to Jordan. Both of us had been wanting to go for a while so when the opportunity arose, we jumped at it. We seemed to be hitting a sweet spot as we were going out of peak season, but the weather was really good so we were pretty chuffed.
When we arrived, we had planned to take an Uber from the airport to our Airbnb… only to find out that Uber is banned from entering airport grounds. Great. The two options left were taking the bus or a taxi. Me, being my usual stubborn self, refused to take a taxi as I feel taxi drivers always overcharge when traveling to or from the airport. That’s how we ended up buying bus tickets.
Neither of us can speak Arabic & we hadn’t done research on the bus system before arriving so this was gearing up to be a very interesting situation. We knew the name of the stop where we needed to get off, but there didn’t seem to be any signs or any way of us knowing which stop was which. My friend typed something to the effect of “Would you be able to tell us where this stop is?” into Google translate & she showed it to the woman seated behind us. The look on this woman’s face was priceless because she assumed we could speak neither Arabic nor English & those were the two languages she could speak. You could see how she knew the answer to the question, but was stumped as to how she was going to convey this information. She eventually asked “English?” & you could almost hear the emphasis on the question mark. We answered her & there was much relief & the conversation went off without a hitch after that, but I had a giggle seeing her reaction.
Fast forward a day & we were on our way to Wadi Rum. We’d booked a desert safari & all the ‘touristy’ things to do there including watching the sunset. We stopped along the way for snacks & to stretch our legs. This is a pretty standard thing you do on a road trip. Unfortunately, my friend accidentally left her phone in the restroom at that stop. We only realized it was gone when we arrived in Wadi Rum around half an hour later. We didn’t know what to do because if we went back for it we would lose an hour of our safari & possibly miss the sunset which we’d already paid for. On the other hand, a cellphone is not exactly a cheap item to lose as well as we had bought one local sim card & it was in that phone so we had no way of contacting anyone. We discussed it & decided to continue with our tour since we had already left the phone & if anything were to have happened to it, it would have happened by now.
We had such an amazing time in Wadi Rum & it was such a highlight of the whole trip. Seeing the sun set over the red sand is an experience I will keep with me for a very long time. However, the sun had set & it was now completely dark. I know we all know this, but places look very different at night – especially places which are completely foreign to you. Because of this fact, we spent the next hour & a half driving up & down the road trying to find this place where we had stopped earlier. It was ridiculous. Eventually, we did find it & my friend went running into the restroom to go retrieve the cellphone, only to come back empty handed. We spoke to the owner of the shop & he pulled the cellphone out from under his desk. He was keeping it safe & had even contacted my friend’s parents in South Africa telling them where we could find him & the cellphone. I’m still surprised we got it back. Have you ever lost something while in another country?
Keep traveling, keep safe.