Where the Kids Roam

Returning to Wadi Rum, aka Shit my Bedouin Guide Says

We finally returned to Rum! 

Last time we were in Wadi Rum was 13 years ago and it was just my wife and me. We arrived with no place to stay, but quickly met someone outside the visitor’s center who took us to his friend’s brother’s cousin’s house (that first guy later got fined for not having us pay through the visitor’s center).

There, we had some tea and sat slightly uncomfortably in a living room for over an hour not knowing what was going on. But soon we were hopping onboard a stranger’s pickup truck and being whisked across the desert, tracing the footsteps of T.E. Lawrence.

After a day of spectacular sightseeing and dangerous rock climbing, we ended up at our camp, where our two Bedouin guides proceeded to get hammered on hashish, Red Bulls and vodka, and beer. After one of them sang the most passionate love song to his mother, they both got up and left us alone in the desert (well, two other tourists were then with us – a couple from Malaysia). Too hot to sleep inside the tent, we slept under a sea of stars.

In the morning, we spent much time trying to wake the Bedouins up (they obviously returned at some point) to no avail. Our Malaysian friends therefore missed their bus. Laughs were shared by all (Bedouins).

In other words, it was an amazing time…full of adventure. This time we returned to a very commercialized experience. Maybe the lack of hashish and abandonment was better for the kids, but we sure though it was better in Rum the first time around.

You ever return to a place and have it lose its magic?

Anyhow, I’ll leave you with a couple of quotable quotes from Bedouins we met 13 years ago (feel free to use these in daily discourse):

“You see, a woman could be hugging you and still could figure out a way to make love to another man.”  (This guy also said a woman could figure out how to cheat on a man, even if kept on a leash) Clenched teeth rating=😬😬😬

“I’d be a very bad wife.  I’d make love to every man in town.  Then, you’d have to kill me.” Clenched teeth rating=😬😬😬😬😬

Wadi 2