We decided to start the day with a hunt in the market shops below for a keyboard for my tablet. Ever the procrastinator I had bought a tablet with a pen function which I convinced myself would be fabulous for my musings. It wasn’t, and so I had another excuse not to document our journey. Roisin, who can always find a solution to my excuses insisted that we search the electrical shops and so we find ourselves on the busy market street approaching any shop or stall with Samsung in its signage. The owners were very pleasant and if they did not have English they called someone from another stall who did. I cannot imagine that happening at home. It is fair to say most young people speak English so they were usually called on to mediate transactions. Those who couldn’t help were still very polite and curious to know where we were from and conversations regarding temperature at home compared to Jordan. Finally, we found a shop and being shown the keyboard and asked for 60 JOD, I said “No, no foreign prices I want Jordan prices, I’ll give you 15 JOD”. The young lad looks over at the older man who is seated like a king on a throne at the back of the shop. The boy says “30 JOD” again I said “No, its a display piece you don’t even have the box for it, 25 JOD come on, agree 25 and I will leave here happy” At each haggle the young lad looks to the king in the back of the shop. Finally I say “25 JOD best I will do, you don’t want 25 I will walk”. The young lad looks to the king again and the king agrees. I’m thrilled I love a good haggle and now I am ready to share the details of the trip with the world. We walked further along the street and come to a stall selling bread rolls with every type of filling. There is cheese, curry, spiced, devilled chicken, ham, vegetable that will be heated when chosen. I am a little on the very nervous side in trying any of the rolls on offer. We have all heard the horror stories of eating street food and if it didn't kill you, you might wish it did for the discommoding it can bring to the body. I had thought they were just bread rolls and figured how wrong can you go with a bread roll. So now as we point to each tray “What’s this one?” the seller announces “Chicken” and puts some in the bag, “Cheese” and puts some more into the bag. This went on until we had 12 rolls in the bag and none of them were plain bread. We stopped pointing and asked how much? I thought this was going to cost a small fortune and we took out a bunch of money and ruffle through to find a 20 dinar note. He leans in over our stash and takes a 5 dinar note handing us back our 20. Turns out it was 1 dinar for four rolls. He took the money and gave us change. So incredibly honest, he could have so easily taken more and we would have been none the wiser. We chatted for a while and he asked where we were from and he told us he was Egyptian and had been working this stall for 20 years. We took our bag of goodies and headed back to the apartment.
At the apartment, we made some tea and nibbled on the mixed bag of bread rolls before eagerly getting down to testing out my new keyboard. I checked it had power. Everything was perfect and so I set to work. It worked like a dream until I realize that there was a problem with email addresses or dialogue. The "@" symbol is where the “ key should be and vice versa. I laughed so much at my killer bargain. Regardless, it works fine and its not so pricey that I’m afraid of breaking it or losing it so ‘a bargain is a bargain’.
We ordered an Uber (its a good app for Jordan) and headed out to our now favourite restaurant on Rainbow street. As we are traveling so much and staying just short duration of time in any one place I tend to stick with a good food place when I find it. The staff recognized us from the previous evening and we had another gorgeous meal on our last night in Jordan. Saying our goodnight to all we headed down the hill to our apartment. We were very relaxed as we strolled. There was a little traffic on the streets but overall the street was very quiet. As we got closer to the end of the street and more into the residential area I noticed a guy was following close behind us. I stopped to look in his direction figuring it is always best to see what’s coming rather than hope for the best with head down and walking. We stopped then he stopped. I crossed the road pulling Roisin by the arm and moved to the other path and he did the same. Grabbing Roisin by the arm again I make a quick return toward the original path and he went to do the same. I stopped in the middle of the road. I had no intention of putting myself or Roisin on some shadowy path. Center of the road, plenty of light and if a car did happen to pass there was a chance of flagging it down for assistance. I quickly turned on him, pointed directly at him and shouted “Enough, I am warning you to stop following us or I will shout Police! and that is international. Get out of here!” This I did in a voice just loud enough to get anyone’s attention who might be around but not hysterically. The guy starts apologising “Please lady, I sorry, I sorry” as he ran like the clappers up the road. The entrance to the apartment was just a few meters away so I made sure the guy was far enough away to allow us time to get inside quickly and safely. Relieved and grateful, I put the kettle on had the universal Irish cure for everything a cup of tea. I was grateful for the level of security I had seen in Jordan because I knew that if I had to shout police they would have been there in seconds and so did the guy following us. So all came right in the end. We were off to India tomorrow having had a wonderful time in Jordan.
Click below to read part two and three of our Amman adventure!
Hi, I'm Olive and I am the writer of this blog. I am traveling the world with my 22 year old daughter, Róisín, who has just graduated University. I wanted to document this journey because it is unusual for a woman of 58 years old to go on adventure that most students do on a gap year. I will try to share my insights into this epic journey with you along the way and maybe inspire more people my age to go on these crazy adventures too.