Saturday, March 8, 2014

New York - Istanbul - Aqaba

Returning to Jordan after four months in the US – the longest period of time that I’ve been away since arriving here in 2006 – was not as I anticipated.  After the significant shock of readjusting to life in the US, a country that I haven’t called home for 12 years, I imagined that my return to southern Jordan would be as a stranger and that I would struggle to adjust to changes that have taken place - both personally and professionally in my life - since leaving Jordan last October.

I arrived in Aqaba from Istanbul at 3 am on 17 February and hopped into a taxi to the center of town.  My cab driver was a friendly man from the hill town of Tafileh who welcomed me profusely back to Jordan, complimented my Arabic and then promptly tried to overcharge me.  Some things never change. :)

As I stepped out of the taxi and Mohammed, the Egyptian receptionist at the much loved funduk al Quds (Jerusalem Hotel), smiled gently as he helped me to gather my bags, a sudden sense of well-being washed over me.  I realized that as far as I may be from my family and country of birth, I have, indeed, returned home.  
Aqaba and the Red Sea
Photo courtesy Al Amer Chalets

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