Great Falls Park

November 30, 2014

Wasting Time in Wadi Rum

On my second day in Jordan, Alissa, Carlos, Jon, and I hired another driver (who ended up being Yusuf, the same person as the day before) and drove out to Wadi Rum for the day.

At the edge of the desert, we traded in the car for camels…

Riding on camels into the desert
March 15, 2013

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About three months ago, I was in Petra. Today, I’m sitting in Washington, DC trying not to look longingly at pictures of the beach. Instead I’ll look at pictures of the desert.

During Alissa and Carlos’ trip here, we spent a few days in Jordan. We stayed in Aqaba, swam in the Red Sea, rode camels in Wadi Rum, and hiked around Petra.

For our visit to Petra, we hired a car and driver to take us there and back. We stopped along the way (obligatory tourist shop and bathroom break) — on one of the mountains in the background you can barely see Petra.

Carlos, Alissa, Jon, and Emily on the way to Petra
March 14, 2013

Our driver dropped us off outside the entrance (which was replete with Indiana Jones-themed gift shops and snack shops) and we bid him farewell for the day before heading through the gates.

Before you make it to the famous wadi, you walk or ride a horse along a trail for about 15 minutes (?I think?). Then, you have to abandon your horse and continue on foot into the narrow valley ahead.

Through the wadi
March 14, 2013

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Things I’ll Miss About Living in Ramallah

As my time wound down in Ramallah, a lot of people asked me what I’d miss about it. There’s a lot…ranging from the unique, like the friends I’ve made, to the banal, like the weather. Here are just a few, in no particular order:

1) The birthday song.

This amazing song can be heard nearly every night you go out in Ramallah. It is accompanied by the delivery of a cake with a giant flare sticking out of the top. Since the outdoor bar opened across the street during Ramadan last year, Jon and I have heard this little ditty more times than I can count. I love it.

Guaranteed: I’ll play it for your next birthday if I see you.

I was finally at a table recently where the birthday song was played and a flare-cake delivered. It did not disappoint.

birthday cake flare at Azure
April 24, 2013 | Azure Restaurant, Ramallah

By extension, I include all the nightlife in Ramallah, which is surprisingly robust — I’ll miss the ability to have fresh hubbly-bubbly with my glass of wine and, whenever it’s someone’s birthday, (a) hearing this song and (b) seeing a cake with a flare on top of it.

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