Taxi Rides in Jordan
WINTER 2013, I went to Jordan as a passer-by to cross borders to Palestine. It is not my first time going to Jordan, I have been there many times and I still visit, but that winter, those couple of days I stayed there, made me feel as if it was the first time I see through Jordan. I saw Jordan for the first time.
I arrived to Jordan with my sister, coming from UAE passing to Palestine. An old man, a taxi driver, was waiting for his turn for the next pick up, us. He approached us asking about our destination, my sister told him politely “to the Palestinian borders”, he got excited, I didn’t. I rudely said to my sister “this is a very old car I am not getting in!”. Long story short, I ended up in that car, and I couldn’t have gotten a better ride. It was in the early morning hours, the old gentleman stopped on the way to get us Turkish coffee. the smell of that coffee mixed in the cold breeze still feels fresh and present, if it makes sense.
The generosity of that man, made me ashamed of what I said earlier but hopeful; hopeful to finding good in the strangest places when least expected.
On the way back from Palestine, we stayed for the night in Jordan. My sister and I were trying to find a cab to go around, and after stopping three taxi drivers, we got lucky with number 4 who knew the place we were talking about. In Jordan, you get to build nice memories just by being in a taxi, each trip is a journey on its own. Taxi drivers tend to share a lot of stories from here and there, they might not all be true, but they are greatly inspired by true stories from within the culture.
It was evening time when taxi driver #4 picked us up from Al Rainbow Street, he got us Turkish coffee, played Om Kulthoum songs, and took us to Jabal Amman.
Parked at the top, looking at the outskirts of the city, and feeling the cold wind blowing on my face, I felt relaxed, safe and genuinely happy. The handsome gentleman did not charge us, so on the same night we invited him for dinner. Sitting at one of the old cafes in Dahyet El Rasheed watching a football match and smoking sheesha, was just more colors added to my portrait of Jordan.