Published: November 30th 2010November 30th 2010
Reality bites. I realize my last friend visiting me from home just left. I almost started to cry as she got into her taxi in the morning. That means I am on my last leg of my trip and the lonely factor may kick in (as it did in parts of Turkey). I am certainly looking forward to lying on a beach (in Thailand) and doing nothing for a few days (my vacation within a vacation) and then starting my next tour in Vietnam… I have been extraordinarily lucky with the people I have met on my travels so I keep hoping my luck doesn’t run out or a repeat of creepiness in Turkey doesn’t occur again.
When I return home in December I am already thinking about too much stuff! This includes a job search, dating, being social, and moving back into my apartment – things that I honestly do not look forward to will be on the agenda. I am feeling a bit of a dilemma. I want to start cleansing negativity from my life. This will primarily mean changing my lifestyle drastically. I am not even sure why I still think about it… but for years the social butterfly thing was ‘me’. I have determined I would rather be alone than with people who I curse at under my breath and wonder WTF am I doing here? If I am out and about and would rather be home alone on my couch… not quality company I am keeping if that happens. Additionally, I want to be healthier, no really. I already contacted a friend who will get me started as soon as I get home. Besides my massive 16 pound increase and counting on my travels that will need to disappear as I can’t afford a new wardrobe, I want to become more orderly in my routine to start a true healthy lifestyle. Whether this involves Pilates, stretching, reading, healthy cooking… I want to be in a position to feel good and strong. My first order of business is finding out my blood type. I am curious to what types of food I should be eating and which activities I should be doing based on the way I am made up (apparently there is a great book). Also, I have ideas about healing both internally and externally from people all around the globe. I have a list that I promised myself to check out.
I met a man named Richard. I flew from Istanbul to Amman, Jordan. Upon arrival, I arranged a small tour of Amman with a local travel agency. Richard showed up. I arrived around 5pm which is rush hour time. It took over an hour to get into town. What I learned from Richard is that he wanted to go to America over 30 years ago and they wouldn’t let him in as they determined he would never return to Jordan. He knew the American embassy was right. He married and has been raising 3 children here in Jordan. He started talking about the Muslim community. My flight on Royal Jordanian was an interesting one. I met a couple from Missouri that live in Jordan due to work. They have been here 10 years. Prior to that, they lived and raised their children in Cairo for 10 years. What a life! After 20 years in Arabic speaking countries, neither one spoke Arabic. I asked if there were mostly locals on the plane, and they said no. It was primarily people from Turkey, Iraq, Syria, etc… I started to look around and realized that people were starring at me! My hair was back in a bun and I was covered with long pants and a long shirt… but you really can’t hide the fact that I am an American (or Canadian, Brit, Aussie, etc.).
Back to Richard… he was completely jealous of my independence. He said he traveled when he was in his 20’s before his wife. He said independence and FREEDOM is super important and that I should cherish it. He said I should get married soon though, as I have to start sharing my time and life with someone as he believes we are all supposed to! It Turns out Richard is a Christian (a minority – like 3% of the population in Jordan). He has a major issue with Muslim people. He said they spend their lives waiting to live in their ‘Paradise’ or afterlife so they can have like 40 wives or some shit. This is why they are suicidal and don’t care or cherish other people’s lives. This sounds a bit extreme coming from someone who lives in a Muslim community. He explains how the women from Iraq beg and try to sell trinkets on the streets of Amman. He said if I was from Saudi Arabia, I would never been allowed to travel or work. He then goes into a complete state of venting when he said besides the countries with oil, Muslim people are a waste of life as they sometimes don’t work and cause trouble. He said if you aren’t married by 22 or 23, most people start to question what is wrong with you. All in all, Richard was an interesting soul who wants to come to America and show off his BBQ’ing skills. He asked me my religion and I told him I am not religious. I didn’t feel comfortable telling him I was Jewish as I am driving in a car with a complete stranger in Jordan. If I told him I was Muslim, I think he would have kicked me to the curb… not sure what would have happened if I told him I was a Jew. Either way, he said we sleep, we don’t feel anything. We die, we don’t feel anything. He is convinced there is no afterlife that when we die, we are dead and that is all (he thinks Muslims are idiots). I simply nodded as I do believe there is an afterlife. I do believe in a heaven where you can spend some time with loved ones. I expect my family members to be waiting for me. If they aren’t, well I guess I will understand why when I do kick the bucket. The conversation with Richard was a reminder that I could die in a plane crash tomorrow! I should live my life everyday as it’s my last day in this lifetime. Anything or anyone who gets in my way of my happiness needs to be removed ASAP. This all being said, I really wanted to make some phone calls at the airport to some people I miss. As I have another 5 hours before my flight to Bangkok, I plop my ass in the airport lounge. Unfortunately there is no internet! It is down. So my plan to call people and catch up before my 8+ hour flight is diminished. Besides reading and writing a bit, I now have many hours to kill. This travel day/s is the longest of all my travels (leaving hotel in Istanbul at 11:30am)… arrive in Amman at 5pm. Take a drive around town until 9pm. Hang out in airport until boarding at 2am. Arrive 8 ½ hours later in Bangkok (3pm Bangkok time) and wait another 4 hours until my 7pm flight to Koh Samui. So this is about 30 hours and as I write this I am only 12 hours in. OYE. After this it is easy sailing until my flight home, which I am going to try not to think about until the day it happens!
Also – I met some New Yorkers in the lounge. They are engineers hired by BP to help fix their situation. They travel around to other big oil companies around the world (mainly Middle East) to find out the best way to fix things. They need some major fixing!!! Glad to know there was a team of 10 Americans looking for answers?