Immigration over I encountered customs where a gentleman in an immaculate suit and beard was counting the beads. He asked me in perfect English whether I had anything to declare. I replied in negative and he told me in a very gracious manner "This way, please", pointing to the exit. After experiencing Indian customs personnel I was flabbergasted by the Jordanian customs.
My client had arranged for me to be picked up from the airport. I settled in the Marriott Hotel in Amman. My client's office was bang opposite the hotel. Over the next two days I finished my business with my client.
During the course of business I had been on market visits to Amman and the nearby Zarka town. Zarka is a small suburb similar to any central Mumbai suburb. It mainly comprises of Palestinian settlers and lower middle class Jordanians. During the visit I came across a theatre where a poster looked familiar and I asked the gentleman accompanying me the name of the movie of that poster. He read it for a minute and told me it was a Indian movie and the actors were somebody called Jacky Sharief (Shroff), Amir Khan and some name for Urmila Matondkar. I knew immediately that the movie was 'Rangeela'. I also came to know that Indian movies were very popular and that if you buy a ticket in the morning it is valid for all the shows of the day.
I had a lovely trip on the second last day to the Dead Sea. My client's manager drove me to the Dead Sea. Though I knew about the Dead Sea I was apprehensive about taking a dip in it because I did not know swimming. The person accompanying me assured me and pointed to the other bathers that drowning in the Dead Sea is impossible.
Thus assured I removed my clothes put on my shorts and also the thread from my shoulders and the chain I was wearing and gave to the gentleman with me. I was initially hesitant to do so, not knowing what his reaction would be. He was simply curious and asked me about the significance of the thread and the god's image on the pendant.
I had a great time splashing, floating in the water. It is a strange concoction of salt, minerals which does not stick to your skin, rather it simply rolls off. During one of my rolls in the water, it got into my eyes which then proceeded to blind me completely and water for around the next 2 -3 minutes. The water is very salty, indeed, I found it out the hard way.
Bath finished we strolled around the bank looking at the lights of Gaza strip which is visible from the Jordanian side. The person accompanying me asked whether I wanted to go to Israel and that it is only an hour's drive from where we were standing. I declined fearing repercussions about an Israeli stamp on my passport as I worked in a Gulf country. He replied that the border authorities would not stamp my passport and everything would take place on a piece of paper. I declined.
We drove back to Amman after a nice dinner on the way.
The real incident comes in the next post which will also be concluding part of this trip.