As a short sequel, I will continue my story from March about the time I ended up at an Egyptian wedding.Namely, my local friends took us to a village wedding three hours from Cairo. Everything was nice until it started to seem that we had taken too much attention away from the bride (two European women with uncovered hair at an strict and conservative country wedding - we looked like intruders) and in solidarity decided to leave the dance floor so that the young bride could enjoy her spotlight. But the misunderstandings didn’t end there: it was past midnight and it seemed like a good time to return to Cairo, because the early morning we had to leave the city and travel to Alexandria by the Mediterranean Sea. However, our friends put on innocent smiles and announced that we would not be able to get Cairo...
Yes, I would like to say that these past few months have been dull, but a jealous Egyptian bride in my memories proves me wrong. Visiting a wedding during my trip to Egypt was a surprise for both me, the bride and in fact for everyone involved. I went to Egypt mainly to practice my Arabic. In addition to a nice field trip and some immigration troubles (thanks to my fun passport full of…rather unattractive visas), I also spent an extended time in Cairo with some local friends. That’s the charm of international life - even crazy cities like Cairo become bearable when familiar faces are driving you around and guide you through the most enthusiastic tourist traps. Anyway - the wedding!
I literally can not believe that we actually made it to the new year! I mean, the fact that time passes is not a surprise in itself, but the second half of 2019 seemed to fly by especially quickly. Despite being a rather rare visitor of my own blog, I still want to share my thoughts about the last year and make some conclusions. I’m sure I will get to elaborate about some trips in the following months as well, as I haven’t even gotten the chance to tell you about my most exotic destinations of the last year.
Although my Boston stories have been published as slowly as winter days at school go by, I still want to tell you how one of my bucket list dreams came true. So while spending my summer in Boston, I was lucky enough to visit Harvard rather often. Probably every young academician goes through the stage of dreaming of Harvard University, the universal symbol of education and elitism. It was definitely the dream of 15-year old Susanna and let’s be honest, it’s still the dream of 25-year old Susanna.
After getting a green light from the US Embassy in Tallinn, I started preparing myself mentally for the university life in the States. Since my priorities are clearly in tact, I decided to re-watch Gilmore Girls. Rory’s life in Yale was exactly what I expected from my program as well. (Pardon, #nerdalert). Clearly, a summer program is nowhere near to being enrolled for full degree studies, but compared to Europe my experience was sure to be iconically American as well.
In many ways, this spring went by under the star of anticipation for me. In the beginning of 2019, I learned that I had been selected to participate in an academic summer program, sponsored by the US Department of State. However before the final confirmation, I had to go through quite a background check. This whole process — since the first congratulations from the US Embassy until I finally crossed the border in Boston — took around half a year. Half a year when I inevitably had to ask myself: is this where I come to regret my travels to Iran?
Pärast väsitavat päeva Petras olime tõeliselt rõõmsad, et olime otsustanud veel üheks ööks beduiinilaagrisse jääda. Bussid teatavasti niikuinii Jordaanias õhtuti ei sõida ja järjekordne 3-tunnine taksosõit oleks ületanud meie eelarve.
Kui olime varakambri vaateplatvormilt tagasi tulnud, jätkus meie matk läbi Petra. Mu sõbranna otsustas giidi saatel jätkata kõrgustes ronimist, suundudes mäe tipus asuvasse iidsesse ohvripaika. Kuna minul oli märgistamata mägiteedest mõneks ajaks küllalt saanud, otsustasin hoopis vanu hauakoopaid uudistama minna. Petra pole pelgalt muuseumipaik, vaid terve kunagise tsivilisatsiooni keskpunkt, seega on linnas palju, mida avastada.
Hommik beduiinilaagris oli varajane, sest tahtsime enne suuremaid turistihorde Petra väravatest sisse jõuda. Varane start oli oluline juba seetõttu, et saime Petras veeta vaid ühe päeva, mis paljude hinnangute põhjal polnud sugugi piisav. Seega pidime oma piiratud ajast võimalikult palju välja pigistama. Vähemalt oli piletite osas lihtne. Nagu varem mainisin, olin ma enne reisi ostnud Jordaania e-viisa, mis ühtlasi kehtis ka kõigi riiklike vaatamisväärsuste piletina. See tähendas, et Petra üsnagi kulukat piletit ei pidanud ma eraldi ostma, vaid näitasin väravas vaid oma viisa arvet. Piletihinnad on seal umbes 60-80€ kandis ja järjekorras kassas väga pikad.
Wadi Rumi kõrbeline Kuna meie aeg Jordaanias oli väga piiratud, olime oma reisi üsna hästi ära plaaninud; spontaansusteks palju ruumi ei jäänud. Iroonilisel kombel tuli muidugi spontaanseid hetki rohkemgi ette kui tavaliselt ning kõik meie plaanid lendasid vastu taevast. Üllatused algasid juba lennujaamast väljudes, kui oma tellitud transfeeri ootama jäime. Jah, esimest korda elus oli mul transfeer tellitud! Paraku see aga välja ei ilmunud ning pärast tunniajast ootamist lontisime viimaks ammu ootavate taksode juurde. Kohalikud taksojuhid teatsid rääkida, et tegu on levinud petuskeemiga, mille õnge turistid reaalselt igapäevaselt langevad. Hea algus, eksole?