Some lands fascinate with their culture, some with their geography and but some bring out the need to explore and to feel the pulse of that land. I have been there two times. But now I want to go and live like a native for a few days.
Words and photographs: Ambica Gulati
- Live with the Bedouins in Wadi Rum and enjoy the Arabic cuppa morning, evening and night. I love tea and it tasted so good made on the coals.
Dress like a Bedouin and walk the streets. I want to smell the spices on the road, shop for veggies and that too dressed like a Bedouin woman with all those hangings and long covers. I want to feel like a gypsy.
3. Learn the mosaic art. This beautiful art form can be traced to the Byzantine era and then carried over to the Umayyad times. This is an intricate process and it as even done over real ostrich eggs.
4. Drive around in a left hand drive car. The roads are fantastic and people actually follow the rules, unlike India. And I have never driven a left-hand drive car, that too a SUV. And I want drive on the car circuit in Wadi Rum.
5. Sit in the train. Living in a country with a large network of railways, it’s unusual to find tracks used only for carrying phosphate. Seeing the ancient looking steam engine was thrilling.
6. Pet the cats. These beauties are found roaming all over, even in five-star hotels. And they are clean and love being petted. It’s difficult to believe that they are stray.
7. Trek in Petra and natural reserves. These are fascinating places. Petra with its intricate hills and tombs and a famous monastery, is a city of wonders and I need more time there, along with taking a donkey ride. Jordan is one of the least forested countries in the world, with just two per cent forest. And the nature reserves include the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the Azraq Wetland Reserve, the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve and the Mujib Nature Reserve. I want to see the wildlife there, especially the hyenas.
8. Eat the mansaf again with arak. No one can eat a lot, especially when you are tired. So this time, this is the first dish I want to eat. And though I bought a bottle of arak, I have to drink that with mansaf in Jordan in a Bedouin tent!
9. Explore Jerash. Do you see the road leading out of the pillar circle? That’s the road I want to go on and find out where it is leading.
10. To cross over to Israel and Egypt. From the shores of Red Sea in Aqaba, one can see the shores of Israel and Egypt. And it’s so fascinating to be so close, yet so far.