I wanna tell you a short story about a loyal companion, a reliable travel mate, a story about my lighter.
A few months ago I stayed in a Hostel in North-West Albania. The one owned by this beautiful Italian family. When I left, they gave me a lighter as a goodbye present and I put it in my backpack. A day later my regular lighter ran out. That was good timing. A week later in Tirana, my host Wendi liked the idea of lighters as a gift, so she left me a big, apple-green colored one. There was only one requirement. ‘As soon as my lighter runs out you have to send me a message’. Fair enough..
Her bilious green lighter traveled through Albania, Greece, Israel and Jordan. Quite an exciting life for a lighter. On my first day in Georgia our journey will end though. I will send Wendi a message.
My hitch hike from Wadi Musa (Petra) to Amman starts off with a little misunderstanding. It takes me only 2 minutes until the first car pulls over. ‘Amman?’ ‘Yes Amman!’ – I ask 3 times just to make sure. It feels almost to good to be true. 250 km and a straight lift? Damn, I am a lucky bitch. I get into the car and relax since the driver doesn’t speak any English once again. I get a tiny bit suspicious though after he exits the highway and continues on some sketchy gravel road. Alright, time to check google maps. As soon as my GPS location updated, I found out what was going on. There is a city called ‘Ma an’ 50km East of Petra. Fuck. But it was too late. A classic hitch hiking misunderstanding. I just accept it and decide to start hitching from Ma’an instead.
A long walk towards the highway entrance ends with me trying to find a toilet. Walking around Wadi Musa felt like being in a Zoo, walking along the road in Ma’an is a similar experience, but on crack. It’s these areas tourists would never go to. These areas where my tattoos either shock, or tease people. Anyway, literally everyone is staring at me. I find a toilet quite close to the highway entrance and some people who are sitting in front of a car workshop invite me for a coffee. Half an hour later I have selfies with each of them and I also have some new Facebook friends. Apparently adding western people on Facebook is considered as something ‘cool’. Suddenly a friend of them arrived to change its car’s oil. Turns out he’s going to Amman. And that’s it. In retrospect getting to Ma’an and meeting these people was the luckiest thing that could happen. A straight lift to Amman, without even putting up my thumb.
In Amman I get welcomed by my new host Khalil. An amazing human being. Generous, hospitable and a great chef. He even loves washing the dishes. I can’t believe how he is still single. It’s one of these great Couchsurfing experiences. We don’t do much, we mainly just hang out in his living room, eat tasty food, watch TV and just talk. Like something you would do back home with your friends. And this is exactly what you need sometimes when you’re on a long journey.
Nevertheless on my third day I finally get my ass off the couch and do some sight seeing. The old citadel reveals a stunning view over the city and also offers some ancient temples. It’s freaking Hercules temple! It makes me laugh since it unavoidably reminds me of these old shitty movies with Kevin Sorbo. Hmm..childhood memories.
Alright, back to Khalil’s apartment. Sight seeing is super exhausting. The temperature is 36 degrees. Seriously, I am looking forward to lower temperatures. I haven’t had anything colder than 35 degrees in the last 6 weeks. Fortunately the apartment has an air condition. And like I said, Khalil is a great chef. In case you’re like ‘Something looks wrong on these pictures’ – yes you are right. I shaved. Involuntary. I went to a barber shop in Wadi Musa for a trim and this guy just fucked it up. Khalil offered me his shaver and that’s the end of the story. I look 5 years younger, feel clean and I look less scary. I don’t like it.
I tell Khalil about my lighter story. He likes it and decides to do the same as Wendi did. He gives me a lighter before I leave. And believe me or not – the day after I left, my lighter ran out again. Fate or just a funny coincidence – I can’t tell. I always keep my promises, so I sent Wendi her picture. A picture from Georgia, sitting in the living area with my new hosts while drinking beer out of tea cups.
This was the end of my middle east detour. I’m glad I took it even though I missed out on Iran cause of some visa issues. I had an amazing time and guys, let me tell you something. Don’t be stupid, these countries aren’t dangerous at all! The tourism sector suffers a lot cause people consider Israel or Jordan as dangerous. Fuck the news, they are not. If you ever get the chance, don’t miss out on the middle east and experience a whole different culture and hospitality like you have never experienced it before.
So there we go, I am back on track. I am heading back towards Germany. According to google maps the direkt way is 4200 km. I wanna be back on the 14th of September for my sisters birthday and to hitch hike towards Scandinavia before winter is coming. Damn, I can’t wait for the next episode.