I had to go to Aqaba to pick up some more recycled threads for the weaving women and also wished to go in order to dive in the sea, visit a friend and her newborn baby and get some beers. Timing wise to go on a Friday is not ideal, as few people travel, meaning busses take long to fill up. Bas Yallah! let's see if it works. Nsha'allah.
6:20am at the busstation, one bus, one driver and one traveler...moi. The driver mentioned we would leave at 7 - 7:30am, which seemed slightly optimistic. At 6:45am Abu Jasien - the driver of the bus to Wadi Rum - passed and I waved...can I come till the junction to Wadi Rum, then I continue to Aqaba from there. He, sure, get on. The other driver was less happy to be by himself again. Sorry, got to go. Ocean is calling. I pulled my tasseled bag from the bus and jumped on the other bus. Dozing off while the bus seemed to move in between clouds: all mountains from Petra to Wadi Rum were covered in low hanging clouds. Autumn has arrived!
At the coffee stop I chatted with some tourists, sharing some stories while meanwhile keeping an eye on busses passing for Aqaba. And yes, there it was...the bus from Tafileh to Aqaba and all in the back between a group of women was another seat. No problem. Said bye to the tourists and traveled on with an exciting group of Tafileh women, where I was from, what I was doing, if I was married...ah well...the latter question came after the second really. I was offered bread, chips and gachua (Bedouin Coffee) and traditional carpets. Sure, anyone want to weave for me? One woman from Aqaba said her friend would, so we exchanged numbers. Nsha'allah. I took the number of the bus driver as well in case I wished to go back the same day.
But first some shopping to do. The women had advised to buy a baby blanket and upon arrival indicated were to go. Found a nice guy, a pretty baby blanket and a deep red boudoir blanket for myself. Sun was coming out, day temperature would soon get to at least 30 degrees, but after the clouds of this morning I am set for winter time. :D
So now up for the beers, then down to the sea. First a long overdue catch up with my friend and her cute babyboy. Then SEA! It was friday, so it was quite busy at the beach with people bbqing, smoking argyle and observing their children in the water. I had dressed in my overknee gown thing and decided I would keep it on, lets attract as little as possible attention with ehrm...my white hair and black & white striped night gown top thing. bas gallas...biggest part of body covered. And as I was standing in the water and saw myself standing there, I realised I never looked so little charming as right there. But the universe thought differently as exactly that moment the glass boat passes by and loud music was blown over the water: "Hey, sexy lady!!" hahaha...the Gods are funny.
Meanwhile this large, tanned & oiled body builder had been walking the beach in his bright red boxershorts and fashionably positioned red cap. On his last stretch he got the courage to address me: Hi, where are you from? From Europe? I did not even look up, but shook my head like some mental patient. Sandra?! Bas walla...I can't be bothered, after 9 years I shake men off like I smell a dead goat. So much for flirting on the beach.
Anyhow, had a swim, let my stuff dry on an old boat put out for decoration and sat in it watching the sunset while discussing some business. I really like my office spaces :). Then celebrated my friends birthday with fresh tuna and cold beers, chatted some more and slept outdoors with a fresh breeze pushing a way the heavy warm day air.
Woke up early, had another jump in the sea then got moving. Lets get the threads. Um Fathi had mentioned she did not have to many kilo's. No problem I take what you have got. She send me pictures of the colours....Wonderful Um Fathi! I am happy. I am on my way. By that time the 'maybe 8 kgs' had become 18 kgs and when I arrived at her small home she presented me proudly with 21 kgs of recycled thread. So funny, the day before I had not called on a convenient time, so we had little kg's and within a day it had exponentially grown with the appreciation I had shown.
Her sister also came out to shake hands with the Esnabiye - Foreigner. She was keen to show her little money bag And it was actually really pretty. Well made, beautiful details. I asked if she liked to make more, sure she would. Owww and immediately more handicrafts were pulled out something colourful with tassels. Could you make this bag please with a few tassels? Sure! How much? Okay...deal. Give me 5. And hopla, back to the taxi, next time I will come and have tea. Bye bye.
Off to the bus, taking 3 chairs with all my stuff and dozing off on the way to Wadi Musa. But first customs check. Aqaba is a tax free zone, so all busses and cars are being checked. I had 2 bottles of Arak in my handbag and some beers rolled into my new blanket...and 21 kg of recycled thread. One guy came to open the bag. I pretended not to notice - to stay as cool as those morning clouds the day before. Who's stuff is this? I answered it was mine. And you could see his eyes lit up....Ah, a foreigner, lets see what my manager thinks. He gets out with a ball of recycled thread, happy with his catch. He comes back and asks, so how much did you pay for this? Well, I don't know. This is for Um Abdu Rahman (in a tone as if he should know her). I was in Aqaba to visit a friend and her new born baby and I am just helping out, no idea. And....I barely could finish my sentence or he had already given up. Yallah. Salaam. Busdriver had to laugh, you responded like a Bedouin he smirked.
We got it all home, cold Arak & deep red blanket. Ending summer, preparing for winter.