Over the weekend we decided to take a trip to the Dead Sea. Baby bulb is three weeks old, and the older boys were itching with cabin fever, so we decided a day trip was in the works. We had a good time at Amman Tourist Beach last fall, so we returned. It was a great day. We went with friends Z and F, which guaranteed playmates for our boys and good conversation! Admission for residents is 8 JD, and 4 JD for kids over four. When we arrived the swimming pools were being cleaned. This was a relief as last summer we went to the Day Spa and ended up with pink eye from the pools (as have other friends). This beach is much simpler than the five-star hotels up the road, but we still had a great time and stayed within our budget. The pool has a good size shallow area for the kids, and they had a blast. They also built sandcastles. I also took Oliver and Teddy Bear into the Dead Sea for a little bit (just up to their knees). This was their first time in the salty water.
The weather was amazing. Plenty warm to swim, but not so hot for me and baby bulb (as we were not swimming and he's still feeding every couple hours). We ate at their buffet, as they allowed us to bring in water and a few snacks for the kids, but not lunch. The only place you can do that is at the public beach or the 'shatt ilhurra'. Included in their buffet was plain rice, plain noodles, plain yogurt, and cucumbers without any dressing. Yes, my children ate! We enjoyed fish, oozi rice with chicken, stuffed lamb, and a variety of salads. The kids had jello for dessert and we had 'um 3ali' or Arab bread pudding.
We got back to our house with only an hour to bathe and get ready for church. Our service is in the evening as many people work Sunday mornings. When we got to the car, already running late, Abu Tulip and I both realized we did not have our mobile phones. He ran back in the house to look for his, and we both started to panic. We had put our phones inside our camera case (with the digital camera) to keep them safe while we were at the Dead Sea. They were no where to be found. With no way to contact our friends, we headed for church.
BTW, Z and F attend our church. As soon as we arrived (half-way through the worship) I asked my friend, who was with the kids in the nursery, if she had accidentally packed our camera case in her pack. With the chaos of packing up all of our belongings, and trying to prevent five kids from wandering back into the pool fully-clothed, anything is possible. She hadn't seen it so she gave my phone a call. Someone answered! "Hello, is this Abu and Um Tulip?" "No, this is their friend. Who are you?" "An employee of the Amman Touristic Beach. Did you lose your phone?" "Yes, two phones, and a camera." Thankfully, this employee was heading back to Amman, where he lives, and was willing to bring our belongings back. "nkuun mamnuuniin" my friend said, "we would be grateful".
So, after the service, I went back with F to her house with the kids for falaafil while Abu Tulip and Z met the man carrying our belongings. After a bit, Z calls. I see the look of horror on F's face and start to worry. "miitayn dinaar? hakayt ma3 isshurti? raayih al ATM?" "200 JD? did you talk to the police? you're going to an ATM?" Then laughter. "biddu ilcarseat kamaan?" "he wants the carseat, too?" More laughter. My dear husband had cooked up a plan with Z to fool us into thinking the employee had demanded 200 JD for our phones and camera. They really had us fooled for a few minutes. I guess that's what you get for leaving your husbands on their own for a while!
Needless to say, we had a good laugh afterwards. We are so thankful that the employee (who turned out to be a manager) was honest and brought back our phones and camera. He was extremely gracious, and renewed our faith in the honesty of people yet again. We arrived home much later than usual, and Abu Tulip had to carry all three kids in from the car to the home as they were quite sleepy.
Another day finished, another story to share. ~ Um Tulip