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Published: June 28th 2019
Today we have a day of travelling from our mountain retreat here in Oman, to Amman in Jordan. We’re very sad to be leaving Oman, which we both think has now become our new favourite country.
There seems to be more gunfire than ever coming from the army base across the canyon this morning, and we suspect that this is likely to get even worse when half the British Army arrives here in a few days time to join in with the training exercises. I wonder if any tourists have ever been hit by stray bullets while they were staying here. Maybe it’s just as well we’re leaving today.
We take the long drive down the mountain and along the highway back to Muscat airport, and board our plane for the three hour flight to Amman.
We quickly get a sense that the people in Amman are a bit different to the Omanis, and we suspect that this has probably got more than a little to do with life in Jordan being a lot tougher than it is for the average Omani. Most Omanis seemed to very relaxed, patient, happy and polite. When we first arrived at Muscat airport the customs officers apologised for having to inspect our bags. Now that I think of it, maybe I’d be a bit relaxed, patient, happy and polite too if I didn’t have to pay any tax, had access to free healthcare and education, and had a government that was happy to throw free house and land packages my way. I doubt however that any of this is part of life in Jordan. The Jordanian immigration officers are gruff and rude, and herd us around like cattle. Everyone in the airport seems to be grumpy and in a hurry, and we get the impression that it’s every man for himself here.
Issy asks our taxi driver if he likes tourists, and he tells her that he doesn’t. We hope that he might have misheard the question, but it’s hard to be sure. He is on his phone constantly having grumpy conversations, which means that he’s always driving with only one hand on the wheel. The traffic is frenetic, and everyone drives with their hands glued to their horns. All the drivers seem to be extremely aggressive, and they push and shove their way in front of each other at every opportunity.
We wonder how safe it is here. There seem to be police everywhere, but we’re not quite sure whether this makes us feel safer because they’re there, or less safe because they need to be there. In a first for us we have to put ourselves and our luggage through a scanner before they’ll let us through the front door of the hotel. That should probably make us feel safer too, but we then wonder why it’s necessary.
It feels like everyone here is on angry pills. We’re both feeling very intimidated, and Issy says that she might just lock herself in the hotel room until we leave here again in a few days time.
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