Thursday, May 21, 2009

I hear Jerusalem's bells a-ringing...

The spirit of total self indulgence at the Dead Sea prevailing, Mike and I got a room service and a babysitter for the kids and for ourselves. It was a beautiful evening and we had reservations at the award-winning steakhouse at the hotel. (Best Steakhouse in Jordan and Lebanon by the Grumpy Gourmet, 2008. Hey, you can't make stuff like that up.) Having missed our chance in Aqaba, we were determined to make a night of it. The steaks were thick and perfectly medium rare, the Mt Nebo wine garnet red and delicious, deemed a new favorite, and the atmosphere just dark and intimate enough.

We wandered from that restaurant, nicely sated, through the extensive grounds of the hotel, artfully lit at nighttime, and followed music to an outdoor sitting area overlooking the sea. There a belly dancer was jiggling and scarving and seductively weaving and doing things with her eyes that surely would have earned her John the Baptist's head on a silver platter, had she desired such a thing. I assume she did not, though one never knows.

The two of us relaxed back in chairs, the music swelling, the dancer artfully exotic, the cocktails entirely superfluous, stars overhead, and observed the people watching the dancer as much as we watched her. Good clean fun.

The moment the last cymbal crashed the belly dancer made a mad but graceful dash off the stage and Mike and I watched with some amusement as, away from the audience, she quickly put on her abaya, draping all her curves in concealing black and transforming into a nondescript woman beneath the veil.

As the music faded from our consciousness, another sound could be heard. The sound came across the Dead Sea, a muffled booming. We could see the lights of Jerusalem twinkling prettily, but we knew the sound was the bombing of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was a sobering moment, and such a contrast, to go from fun and light to consider what was happening...right over there.

Mike and I walked down to the sea, which was now rough with dark waves, I made nice to an apparently friendly cat along the rocks who corrected my mistaken perception by taking a good nip at me, and the evening soon came to an end.

The next morning we packed up, and drove away from the Jordan Valley and sea, back over the hills, to Amman.

Thomas escorts his Thomas the Tank Engine suitcase back to our car (top of our luggage pile). He was very concerned whenever he wasn't actually pulling it along behind himself.

1 comment:

Will & Cheyenne said...

I am so happy you guys got a bit of a nice night.