As I'm sitting on the plane watching everyone fidget and complain, I turn to the window and my mind starts to wander. I mean I’ve been on cruises to different countries but I’ve never actually landed on foreign land. We would be staying in this foreign country where they speak a different language and have different views on life. I was excited yet scared. I started imaging dunes of sand and camels everywhere. Mid thought I’m interrupted by the pilot on the PA. “Good morning passengers I’m glad to announce were preparing for departure and will be landing in Amman, Jordan at about 6:30pm local time.” My mind did a little more wandering, but it wasn’t long before I fell asleep.
I woke up to this beautifully modernized city, no sand dunes, and no camels. There were enormous buildings, crazy intersections, and even a Hardrock Café. My grandparents live in Amman. The houses here are so unusual from the homes in America. The homes are built upward instead of outward. Each family has a different level. I’m assuming they construct their buildings this way because they’re trying to preserve the land. Not to mention the “land” here is awfully dry, so dry that grass is unable to grow. It’s just dirt and rocks, but somehow still beautiful.
After spending a week in Amman, we decide to drive to the Dead Sea. It’s about thirty minutes from my grandparents’ house. On our way there we stoped at the Jordan River. This is the baptism site of Jesus. The tour guide took us on a lengthy hot trail to get to the river. Across the river you can see Israel. You can also see the National Guard guarding the border. Besides that, you can actually feel the peace and serenity throughout this place. As I’m approaching the entrance to the “Kimbinski/Marriot Resort” I’m accosted by an oriental woman impeccably dressed in a navy blue blazer. She hands me a hot towel wrap. The aroma was very distinct – lavender. That exact moment started my experience. Once I got outside I immediately run into a wall of heat. This heat was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It was solid, pressing down on you, making it difficult to breathe. The entire patio is filled with pools and bars and restaurants. All of the pools were filled with the water from the Dead Sea.
I start walking toward the beach but I can’t distinguish how far it really is from where I am. I finally reach it and am surprised to see a flight of about thirty stairs to even get onto sand. Below I see a man with a turban on, he waves me down. He starts telling me about the mud baths and how beneficial the water from the sea is for your skin. He walks my family and I over to the marble buckets of mud from the ground of the sea. I start applying it on my skin, it applies very smoothly but it’s hot. You can feel the mud drying and cracking on your skin. At this point I was ready for the next step. Water, it’s scorching outside and dipping my body into the crisp water seemed so ideal. There were no waves, no fish, and no life to this sea. The water was so heavy and because of the abundance of minerals it resisted you as you walked through it. My feet were caressing the smooth stones at the bottom. I go in a little deeper and put my feet up. Tada! I just floated no effort needed.
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