We arose early for our long journey back to Israel. Our exciting experience along the way was time on a Jeep ride—pickups with built-in seats in the bed—into the Wadi Rum, the south Jordan desert. The movie, The Martian, and portions of both Star Wars and Transformers were filmed in the desolate, sandy, rock mount area. The sand is reddish brown and fine. The rock formations that jut up through it are intriguing—towers, shards and rounded boulders mixed together. We stopped along the way to climb a sand dune. We took off our shoes and sank deep. With absolutely no moisture, the sand does not cling. The day was wonderfully cool and the bright sunshine made it bearable.
The ambience was absolutely Arabic. Men in traditional long dress with head coverings riding camels. We had an informative presentation of making strong coffee the Middle Eastern way—hint: boil for 30 minutes and add cardamom, filtering twice. We were instructed on the importance of coffee manners. For instance, to fill a person’s cup is a polite way of telling them it is time for them to leave.
I’ve said little about our food. I really like it. Some common examples are: Eggplant fixed in numerous ways—all good. Hummus is like their butter. It is always available. Meat balls in pepper or cream sauces; cucumber mixed with many different vegetables for a cold salad; mixed vegetables stir fried in olive oil; chicken with saffron rice; cabbage and more cabbage in different sauces are staples. One food we have in common is okra in a tomato sauce. The flat bread is baked in a brick oven and toasted on the outside, very soft on the inside. One dessert that is particularly tasty is a cream cheese mixture with honey and cinnamon topped with a crushed nut and spun honey topping. The food is served in abundance. We have loved learning and experiencing a life that in outward forms is far different from ours. WEG