Windsbird: Footprints around the world

Hong Kong edition



‘The Crazy Girl’

IMG_1598The hostel I book is located on the first floor of a building, and as I reach the staircase a man out of nowhere appears and helps me up with the luggage. As he walks behind me, I keep glancing back, paranoid that he may run off with my bag – unbeknown to me that he would later become one of those people that I find the hardest to say goodbye to in Jordan.

My dorm has three beds and everything in it has a yellow tinge to it. The window is facing another hotel just about 6 meters opposite from my hostel, and a few men are sitting on the balcony looking into our room.

I’m glad to find another Asian girl in the dorm – a Chinese girl with a boyish haircut. I spend the whole evening with her and am slightly taken back by her VERY carefree attitude. When a few men try to talk to us on the high street, she gives them her middle finger. With a shop assistant she finds cute, she flirts with him outrageously and insists on seeing her outside his work hours, despite him saying no to it rather firmly. In the hotel lounge she sits with her feet up on the sofa and legs wide open. When a female staff whispers to her that it maybe better to sit in another position, she just doesn’t get why she should. Back in our dorm, she roams around our room just in a T-shirt and her knickers. It’s all fine between us girls, but the problem is, the window is still wide open and the men on the balcony are still looking in – with a lot more intensity, naturally.

‘Perhaps she isn’t so informed of the Muslim culture here’, I think to myself. Her eccentricity has earned her a nickname of ‘The Crazy Girl’ among the people at the hostel, and I continued to meet other travellers who had stories to tell of this girl in other parts of Jordan.

DAY 1: Wednesday, 18 Sept 2013



First day in Amman



After landing at the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan I take a bus towards downtown Amman.  I had to wait for about 40 minutes for it to take off, but the bus fare only costs 3.250 JD whereas a taxi costs about 20 JD.

I get off at 7th circle as advised by the information desk at the airport, but it turns out to be an incorrect advice as I end up taking a taxi into downtown anyway.

The roads here are absolutely hectic. There are no lanes and cars honk all the time, not as a sign of aggressiveness but simply to let others know of their presence to minimise any crashes or accidents.

The young taxi driver and I chat easily during our 30 minute drive, but when I hand him 10 JD note at arrival, he claims he does not have any change on him and insist I just give him 10 JD. I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t have any change on him, and I remind him that we agreed on 7 JD. I handed him a 5 JD note and all the coins I have in my purse which comes up to the total of 6.750 JD, but he is still pissed off at me.  I don’t like how his smiles quickly turn sour at the mere 750 fils.

My hotel is just a few meters across the street from where I got off the taxi, but it takes ages for me to cross. I’m too scared of the unruly traffic and they don’t show any sign of stopping just for me. The trick is slowly start crossing anyway, and then the drivers will stop, but this is something I learn a few days later.

I’m annoyed, tired, and feel intimidated by all the stares from locals.  Perhaps choosing to travel in such an unfamiliar country by myself wasn’t such a good idea. I start to dread 11 more days to come.


DAY 1: Wednesday, 18 Sept 2013


What to do with 12 days

I get 4 days of annual leave at work. And I have to take it at the same time as my boss. It’s the downside of working in journalism in a foreign bureau.

But this year, I managed to extend it to 12 days and I was determined to make the most of it. I was getting so tired of all my goals for the year 2013 being utterly unfulfilled and a distraction wouldn’t hurt.

I sat on the edge of my bed one night and flicked through ‘1000 Ultimate Experiences’ published by Lonely planet, which lists top sites around the world into different categories. ‘Ultimate City Breaks’, ‘Best Places to Experience Music’, ‘Ultimate Sailing Trips’.. I  arrive on the chapter ‘Most Surreal Landscapes’ and google flight prices for each destinations to see which is the cheapest. Jordan it is. Wadi Rum, here I come.




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