16 October 2022

What makes travel truly memorable

The best part of all travel for me is not the magnificent beauty nature has to offer that one can behold. For sure, I remember many of those glorious moments. It is certainly not anything to do with the long dead people.

To me, it is the now and living people in those places I visit. You may remember my family’s disdain at me when they went inside the Colosseum and I was perfectly happy to stay outside the gates and talk to those horse carriage owners nearby.

This is strange. Because you never travel to far flung places with a goal of meeting strangers. You travel to see things. Yet, while I have certainly seen those things, what I really remember most are the small snippets of conversations with local people that I got to meet for a few minutes in those travels.

Especially if they speak in a foreign language. That opens up another dimension of learning trying to piece together a conversation from some basic constructs – like pointing at objects.

Whenever possible, I try to take their contacts, befriend them on Facebook and call them on their birthdays. And try to extend that “travel” thru those birthday calls or WhatsApp messages to enquire how they are faring in life.

This trip to Jordan was no different. There were quite a few strangers I met that I did not get the contacts but I wish I had – especially that gentleman called Zoltan from Hungary and his fascinating camera set up. And for ever they will be consigned to the history of my memory.

And then there were some that I did get the contacts – so I can relive my Jordan moments.

There was Rahman from Bangladesh who took special care of us at the Al Manara bar, there was Houda and Othma in Doha who promised to help us source some native lamps from their country – Morocco, there was Khaled at that gift shop who insisted we have a coffee with him before we left, there was Shahd from Palestine in Petra who gave us a lot of tips around the place, there was Ali our rescue driver when we had a flat, there were Sourov and Chandrima (Agomoni) who we met the last night before coming to the USA and so on and so forth.

Of course, there were the old friends we got to meet again like Peterson at the Dead Sea Marriott bar, Mahmoud at the Dead Seat itself, Natasha, Manojit and Paramita in Doha and the al-Ramamneh family (Mahmoud, Amal, Thair and Suhaib) in Jordan.

But the best – by a wide mile – was a young gentleman, pushing five years at best, that became my friend on the last night. We had some great times together that included finding coins from his ear, a few more magic tricks, juggling with balls and as the picture shows some acrobatics.

The laughter on Reevan’s face as we played together – priceless!!

Posted October 16, 2022 by Rajib Roy in category "Vacations

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