A Day in Aqaba
In the end I decided not to take the D3 into town, Tania (my fiance) and I are at the end of a 10 month contract that has seen us go from Northern Europe, through the Mediterranean and Black Seas, across the Atlantic, down to Antarctica for three months, across to South Africa up through India and the Middle East to where we are now. Of course I could have just paraphrased the previous sentence by saying we are bloody knackered. So we decided to have a quiet day, coffee and internet at Gloria Jeans, a bucket of fired chicken from Pop-eyes and a wander around one of most favourite places in this part of the world.
Its actually the people that make it so pleasant, Jordanians are friendly welcoming and open. They have the Arab instinct for selling but unlike their Egyptian neighbors, they do take no for an answer and accept it with great grace and a smile. They like the British, their King was trained at Sandhurst and Jordan itself has had close connections with the UK for a long time. Aqaba is a relatively modern town, but with lots of old world Arabic charm, beautiful gold shops, fresh cashew nuts on every street and halal chickens being spit roasted in the windows of the cafes.
We wandered out for dinner in the evening and being thursday night, the Islamic equivalent of saturday night, the town was buzzing. People sitting in the parks, making last minute purchases in the bakery, smoking hookahs and generally enjoying themselves. We decided to eat at a place called the Tikka Hut, which serves delicious halal grilled chicken and makes fantastic fresh lime and mint juice. The place was packed, two large Jordanian families and their filipina nannies taking up half the available and limited table space.