Ketchup Blog Part II

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Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba
May 10th 2016
Published: May 10th 2016
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Well well well hasn’t this been a long time? The blog is back for just a one off to kind of catch up where I’m up to now that I’m nearly 9 months, but if I got a bunch of likes on Facebook then WHO KNOWS. I’m kind of a whore with Facebook likes so if I get a lot then the blog may make a return somehow… But this blog is just a brief thing I put together as I just wanna catch up to where I am now and talk about the exciting things in Aqaba happening now!

Basically I haven’t written a Blog for over 5 months now because I’ve just been so damn busy! Plus I’m a bit lazy. But I think I left off when me and my dad were going to Petra and I was planning on doing a Ketchup blog II but I’ll just kind of summarise what I’ve been doing lately as I have a lot to get through, ok? Good.

Below is my half assed written draft of what would have been the beginning of Ketchup Blog Part II if I had finished it all but there’s some interesting stuff in here so enjoy, or don’t see if I care.

Ketchup blog part II

This blog would have been written well back in late January but my little diary notebook that I have most of my notes in about experiences that I have witnessed in Aqaba is no longer in my possession. A night a few weeks ago I was in a taxi to come home and when I arrived at my house I popped out of the cab and rifled through my pockets to find the 1.50 JD to pay the fare. I have to pay the exact change as if I give 2 JD the taxi drivers say they have no change when in fact they do have change! They just say that because I’m white and they presume to be a tourist with bags of cash stuffed in my mattress along with my cashmere and silk sheets hiding them inconspicuously.

I had to exit the taxi to get the coins from my jean pockets because trying to get coins from any pocket of your jeans whilst seated is more impossible than Kim Jong-Un changing his hairstyle. I placed my diary notebook on top of the taxi roof because it was in between the coins and my hand. I paid the man said my goodbyes and walked to the big brown door of my apartment. I didn’t realise that I left the diary book on top of the taxi until I opened the door to my house.

When it clicked in my mind of the serious fucking faux par I had just made I turned around almost in slow motion to the sight of the taxi way, way off in the distance. I ran to the road to try and get his attention by waving my arms about like I was trying to explain to someone how to make a snow angel and I was shouting ‘YALLA! YALLA! YALLA!’

With hindsight shouting ‘Yalla’ probably wasn’t the best thing to say as it translates to ‘hurry up’ or ‘let’s god’ which even if the taxi driver had the ears of a bat and could hear me he would have just thought to have drove faster away from me. But it was the only word that I could think of in that brief panicked moment.

So where we left off from the Ketchup blog part I it was the 29th December, my father had just arrived in Aqaba and he gave me my Christmas presents which was just sweets from England. I was so happy it’s exactly what I asked Santa.

29th December continued I’m going on an adventure! – Bilbo Baggins

Petra was the goal to see by the end of today and *SPOILERS* we did see Petra it was a frigging mission to get there. After a very good night’s sleep because I stayed in the Hilton with my papa I felt rejuvenated even though it was 6am, my father was not. But I had a spring in my step and we lunged to the breakfast bar downstairs to fill up on as much free food as humanly possible. While my dad was enjoying some pancakes I was texting Belal to see where he was so that we could meet up as soon as possible to get an early start on visiting the place where Denholm Elliott ‘chose poorly’.

The group were together consisting of me, Abu Adam, Belal and Mohamed (Belal’s friend who would drive us there as he knows the way and Belal doesn’t drive). Walking determinedly up and down the streets of Aqaba to rent a car to get to Petra. We wanted to know all of our options on modes of transportation there and so we asked a taxi driver how much it would be to have him take us to Petra. I held my breath. He said 80 JD there and back. Which is way too much money considering that to rent a car for one whole day is 28 JD with a full tank of petrol. We said to him that it was way too much and said we will find a rental car and he said ‘you won’t be able to find one here in Aqaba at this time’. How dare he! This made everyone more determined to find a rental car place. But after consistently being knocked back from every car hire centre, our chances were looking slim. I felt like I was 16 again trying to get in to any pub that served anything alcoholic. All the while we were walking the taxi driver was essentially stalking us with his eyes locked on to us and the hum of his car engine always behind us.

We didn’t want to pay 80 JD for a taxi which the 4 of us would have been really cramped inside for the 4 hour round trip. We really should have booked one prior this… Probably yesterday when all my troubles seemed so far away. Belal then said that he knew someone who we could rent a car from who lives on his street. It was our last chance if we didn’t want to fork out 80 JD for a 4 hour car journey.

After losing the taxi driver through the pedestrian only streets and alleyways we arrived at Belal’s street. A place I have been to many times before for BBQ’s with Belal’s friends and seeing Belal’s mum who is great and always gives me food.

I can’t remember Belal’s friends name, I’ll just call him Mohamed as that’s as good a guess as any. He stumbled out of his house and we started talking prices. He wanted 90 JD for 3 days but we only wanted it for one day. He rejected our counter proposal and demanded that we paid for 3 days. It was only 10 JD more than the taxi driver’s prices and if we get the rental car we have it for 2 extra days so we can go to Wadi Rum. IT WAS DECIDED we would pay ‘Mohamed’ as we didn’t really have an alternative place to rent a car.

After a quick photo by the car we jumped in and headed off to Petra. But almost immediately we had to stop off at the petrol station to fill up on petrol because it was nearly empty. Mohamed filled her up and was about to get back in the car when he noticed the front tire was flat. So we drove to a garage to replace the tire. There was no spare tire in the back and so we had to fork out another 18 JD to buy a new tire.

This is where I stopped typing so apologise for the abrupt end. I don’t remember that much about the trip to Petra other than nearly dying on horseback. For those of you who have never been to Petra when you walk in there are these Jordanians who offer a free horseback ride which is included in the ticket price (it did actually say it on the ticket to my surprise), but obviously when we had our allotted time on the horse they ‘convinced’ us to continue the journey on the Indiana Jones route which is across the mountains over Petra itself, but it was more like just said ok you’re coming and like the impressionable tourists we are, we went along with it.

The guide didn’t hold my reins as he was holding my dad’s so I was free running across the cliffs on horseback and bear in mind this is the first time I’ve rode a horse and having vertical steep sharp cliffs isn’t the best place for a noob to be. Belal and Mohamed both knew how to ride horses and they were galloping past and around me like 2 sharks. My horse was the jealous type so whenever Belal and Mohamed’s horse would run, my horse would do the same. Problem was that I didn’t know how to stop the fucking thing so I was just riding along the rims of the cliffs whilst videoing BECAUSE I WAS A TOURIST FOR THE DAY. They say selfies kill more people than sharks and I was starting to see why.

After the horse ride we were climbing to go to a spot where you could look down at The Treasury which was pretty cool! Dad wasn’t too happy as I was getting photos on the edge of cliff faces, but he wasn’t bothered when the horse nearly killed me and anyway I am 21 now! I have to make my own choices!

We wandered around Petra and I spotted an Asian fella who was dressed as Indiana Jones. He had one up on me as I just brought a Lego Indiana Jones with a Lego figure of his father too Henry Jones. Me and my dad looked like the two figures except I left my whip back in my bedroom in Aqaba. JUST JOKING NAN.

Did I mention it was raining? Of course when the two Brits visit Petra it had to rain, but luckily it didn’t flood as it can do sometimes during winter thanks global warming.

Fast forward to our visit to Wadi Rum over new year it was the 4 man crew from Petra, me, papa, Belal and Mohamed. We ended up staying the night in Wadi Rum… You know when people say the desert gets cold at night? Well they were right. I can’t remember the exact temperature but I could see my breath. Also this would be a problem as it’s like this in the UK and I should be used to it. But I was breathing as I was lying in bed and I could see my breath. The accommodation provided to sleep in was basically an oversized Ikea bag with one single and one double bed. I gave my dad the double but soon after freezing our nuts off and not being able to sleep we decided to sleep in the same bed both fully clothed with socks, trousers, t shirt, scarf, hoody, jacket, two blankets and spooning warmth.

Every night besides the night in Wadi Rum I stayed in the Hilton with my dad because why the funkin’ hell not? If I remember correctly I had a hot bath every night and I don’t even like baths. Also I stole some pillows because they were so comfy, so if you get a bill for them dad… My bad, but now you know why!

I also took my dad for a dive to Rainbow Reef! He had some issues and about 20 minutes in he had water in the mask and he couldn’t clear it so we had to finish the dive but it was all good! He enjoyed it and so did I!

This is where my memory gets really hazy so I’ll just have to write highlights of what has happened in the past 5 months.

One of the big things that happened was that I visit Tel Aviv in February. The bus journey was around 4 hours there and 4 hours back so on the return journey I wrote a lot but then I kind of lost motivation and the energy/ time to finish it. However I wrote a large chunk so I’ll include it in the next blog post which I will upload tomorrow! Aren’t you lucky? You don’t have to wait a full week, just one more day.

It’s been emotional but until tomorrow guys I’m gonna leave it here. Hasta luego caimans.


11th May 2016

ketchup blog part 11
long time mention of new year or our second trip.......... to wadi, no pics of you and the storm

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