Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Night Before

As I am writing this, I notice that I am nervous. My fingers type more slowly on the keyboard and I am making greater typing mistakes than I usually do. Fear of travelling? Excited for what tomorrow will bring? I wonder....
Beside me sits my grandmother who is watching the show "Sail vandaag" on the television. We have just eaten a typical Dutch meal of "Boerenkool Stampot". This makes me reflect on what  the following days will entail: a Jordanian tv show and an Arab dish? It seems rather unimaginable to me that the next day I wil be in such different world. 
Tomorrow I shall leave for Jordan at 17:00. After Jordan I shall be travelling further east to India and Bangladesh. Jordan is thus, for me a transition point, from west to east, and I am excited at the prospect of exploring its culture.
I have spent the past week packing and yet I feel strangely unprepared for the trip. I do not have many clothes and very few other things. I have spent the past few days looking for clothes that cover most of my skin and are not too warm. Futher than this I have done very little besides reading some information about the places we are going to visit in Jordan.
I think the biggest preparation for my trip was talking to my uncle's wife about Jordan. She is Spanish and speaks very little English. Communication was hence difficult, although I got the gist of what she was telling me. She had been in Jordan 5 years ago and loved it. She told me about the beauty of the touristic places, the charm of Amman and the thrill of being in the Dead Sea. She then told me something that she really liked about the local people in Jordan: She said that although they were helpful and friendly, they also let you have your private space. She found this contrasting different to what she had experienced in her travels to Senegal, Indonesia and India. I have this at the back of my mind and want to see if I get the same impression as her.
I believe that the way one interprets a culture is dependent on the culture of the interpreter. I think the way I was brought up may have an impact on how I see things in Jordan. I hope to overcome this by talking to people and comparing their views to mine and reflecting upon it. Here begins my exploration into culture.....