Aqaba is a definite tourist city. There is McDonald's circle, which has just about every American fast food restaurant you could want (not that any of us have eaten American food here). This includes Gloria Jeans, an American coffee shop which is pretty much the only place to get coffee that does not come in an instant packet (and which we have all stopped in at multiple times).
|Most of us at Gloria Jeans|
Since it is Ramadan, most everything is closed until sunset, when the city comes alive and the shops are open to tourists. There is the suk, a shopping center that stretches as far as you can look any way. It is full of clothing stores, jewelry stores, and any other kind of shop you can imagine. Much like any other tourist city, you can find pretty much the same shop on every street corner, the only difference being how far down you can haggle the price. And remembering to haggle has definitely been difficult for me to remember, and I am sure I have spent far too much on some items (oops).
There is one vendor we call the spice guy. Every time we walk by his stall, he had us try his spices, gives us tea, and agrees to most haggled prices by telling us to smile.
There are all sorts of places to eat other than the American shops on McDonald's Circle, all selling some sort of local or foreign cuisine. So far I have only eaten the falafel, which came as a full meal for only .30 JD, or about .42cents.
|The falafel place|
Until this trip, I had never taken a taxi before. Here, they the only way for us to get into Aqaba from our hotel. You never know what kind of driver you will get, with some giving us pretty good deals while others try to get us to pay twice as much as we should. Since the taxi drivers will not turn on the meter here, we have to haggle a good price, which is always interesting. Luckily, there always seems to be two or three of them driving by, so we have no problem finding a ride.
I believe I have found the prize I will bring back for the Goody Box, one that will hopefully mail well and make any winner happy. It is a scented bar, one that rubs on like a cologne and comes in a cool tin with Arabic writing and iconic pictures. It also smells really nice, and can work as an air freshener if the winner doesn't want to wear it.
There's just about a month left until I get back home. Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer!