Jordan Gladly Welcomes Tourists….

…But Jordanians? Not So Welcome!

Aqaba, Jordan

From Red Rocks & Camel Racing

Jad and I just wanted a relaxing weekend outside of Amman. After the week I had, I sure needed it! We both took Thursday off and headed south. We were going to stay in Aqaba tonight, and then tomorrow night in Wadi Rum. It’s a very long drive, so we got sandwiches in Aqaba when we arrived, and then headed further south to the Darna Village hostel, just across the main drag from the beach. My brother had stayed in another campground in that area a few years back, and really enjoyed the area. Jad had tried to make a reservation there and been unsuccessful, but when I called to make a reservation for two people, I got one quite easily. It was when we handed over our IDs to register for the room that the trouble started.

The guy at registration asked what our relationship was, and we said we were friends. “You can’t have a double!” he said angrily to Jad, in Arabic. “It’s illegal.” So we asked for two singles. That was when he started yelling, and eventually told us to get out. So we did.

Now, I know that this law exists. I had forgotten about it, but I know about it, and I don’t think it’s all that unreasonable. After all, if you aid and abet an illicit relationship in Jordan, you put yourself at risk of being victim to an honor killing. It’s just good business practice to protect yourself from murder! But I don’t think it’s reasonable to deny us two single rooms.

In the end, neither did the owner when we reached him by phone. He offered us two singles, but by that time we had driven back to Aqaba city, and couldn’t contemplate the idea of subjecting ourselves to that kind of attitude again.

From Red Rocks & Camel Racing

After a few hours of driving around, we managed to contact the camp in Wadi Rum and change our reservation, so we headed out of Aqaba and back north.

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