December 24, 2016
I was rifling through albums from yesteryears debating the pros and cons of digitizing processes when I came across them. I had forgotten about it but the photographs staring up at me brought it all back.
My flight in August 2000 was on Royal Jordanian, via Amman. The layover between the connections was one of those annoying ones – just long enough to need a room but not long enough to actually visit. So there I was, stuck in a hotel overnight. Checking in at the hotel, I remember hearing music from one of the halls on the ground floor. Later after dinner, as I wandered through the gift shop I heard it again.
A group of young boys were playing near the gift shop seemed keen to have their photo taken. It was decreed by their vociferous leader who made up in enthusiasm, what he lacked in vocabulary. I complied and satisfied that they had been immortalized in film, they took my hand and pulled me into the reception hall over my protests. Any reservations I had fell away as I was welcomed inside. I have long since forgotten the names of the people I met but remember being surprised and touched. A random visitor who had no place in a gathering such as this, I was nonetheless made warmly welcome.
What a lovely introduction to the country! Now, on the verge of leaving for Jordan I find myself wondering what is it like now. Does this warm culture endure or is it a thing of the past? What other surprises does the rest of this trip hold? I can hardly wait to begin.