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Shocking report from Jordan: If you drink too much Bedouin Whiskey, you will see your mother in law naked!

2005-07-30
As one of the most welcoming, hospitable people in the world, the people in Jordan have their own rituals for guests. The first gesture which is associated with Bedouins hospitality is offering tea. The second is also related to drinking and it take you to new heights, or shall I say causes frightening visions.

Photo. The Bedouin`s special kind of barbeque party is going on. © Travel Explorations.

During my tour in Jordan in July 2005, I got served hundreds of tiny glasses of sugary mint tea, sometimes referred to as "Bedouin Whiskey", but I can ensure you that the real Bedouin whiskey is something totally different than this tea. That was something I experienced one night when I joined some happy Bedouins for a Barbeque party in a secret place out in the vast desert…..

After shopping in the evening around in the city Wada Moussa, we were ready for the big party. I was joining six Bedouin men who were real party lions. In three cars included two jeeps, we drove from the city and through the village Little Petra on asphalt paved road.

Few kilometres from the village, the drivers made turned the jeep off the road and started to penetrate the harsh terrain. On a bumpy ground, both sandy and rocky, we took our way in to no man's land. Here it was no road map or signs, so I really wonder how they could manage find their own secret place in the desert, especially when it was so dark.

Finally we reached my friends` secret party place. It was a surreal landscape of sand stone mountains. The men switched on Bedouin music on their tape recorder in the car. The volume was adjusted to the highest level, and so some of the Bedouins started to dance wildly by the bonfire with bare upper body. It was still hot even the sun was gone for many hours time ago. The music's repetitive harmonies made the dance and singing even more intensive, especially when we clapped the rhythm.

Photo. Bedouins enjoying the party. © Travel Explorations.

The atmosphere was unique in the middle of the desert. I could real feel the tension. This was obvious another kind of party than I have experienced before.

Rocking around the rock!
"1-2-3 a rock. We gonna rock around the rock(s)". Instead of rocking around the clock, as Bill Haley song about in the 50`s, the Bedouin party lions rocked around the rocks. They howled at the moon and the twinkling stars, and seem to have a very good time in the middle of nowhere. It was time for Bedouin rock!

This was a totally new experience for me partying out in the desert. Far away from pubs and bars, I started to think about a song I use to hear when I am out partying: It`s song the Piano Man of Billy Joel: 

....To forget about life for a while.
And the piano sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say "Man, what are you doin' here?"
Da da da de de da
da da de de da da da
Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight.
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feelin' alright......

We were in total harmony with the desert, darkness and music. Almost also with the animals. After we have started to grill the meat some cats (lynxes) emerged. I am sure that the meat smelled good for them. They sneaked eagerly around our bonfire waited for the right moment to get a bite of our food, but there were actual no chances for them. We sat so close to the bonfire that they didn't venture any approach to our food.

My Bedouin friends shouted out Aja Hayat to me, which means "Welcome" in their own language. They really had a good time. Food is their special symbol of hospitality. So is their tea, and even stronger: the real Bedouin Whiskey (a strong alcoholic drink).

My friends had a special way to prepare the food. I could see that the procedure required great expertise for making a perfect bonfire for grilling the meat and preparing the mouthful. The meat was not grilled over a blazing fire, placed on stones which surrounded the flames, as many Bedouins do it, but grilled on a grill with heated "coal" under. With doing it in this way their was no big risk for burning the meet. It took a while, but for they who wait for something good, don't wait in vain.

Photo. Grilling the meat was impressing prepared.
 © Travel Explorations.

We grilled a big goat, which tasted delicious. It was so good that I almost forgot to drink, but of course there was another reason for it too. I was warned by the Bedouin men that if I drank too much of what they called Bedouin Whiskey, I would see my mother in law naked. I could not do anything else than listen to their advice, so I stopped drinking before it went to far. I was aware of that no strong hallucinations should give me such terrible nightmare.

As far I understood, their kind of Bedouin Whiskey was a mix of Coke Cola, beer and Whiskey. We drank it from a "gallon bottle". It's definitely not comparable with the single malt Scotch Whiskey as for example Lagavulin, and it tastes far from good, but it caused strong effects on the hard drinkers. The Bedouin men also told me that if I drank much goat milk my potency would increase. It's the Bedouin's kind of Viagra.

Photos. Sandstone rocks where with enjoyed our barbeque party. © Travel Explorations.

The sandstone rocks made huge echoes to our music, singing and shouting.

Photos. Sandstone rocks where with enjoyed our barbeque party. © Travel Explorations.

Later in the night my senses was overwhelmed with its vastness. In the dark I could see the contours of sandstone rocks which rose up from the sand. Through thousand of years this amazing landscape has been shaped. I just sat there listen to the silence, watching the stars and waiting for the sunset. The time passed by, but I had not hurry. This was a moment for enjoyment, drinking, singing and rocking around in the vast wilderness.

Stein Morten Lund, 30 July 2005

Additional information
Read more about Jordan on our website.

Here we present tour operator from Jordan where travellers can book there adventure tours:
The tour operator Jordan Beauty Tours made my tour become a great adventure for life. Especially thanks to these persons: Joseph, Ibrahim, Abdulah and Ali.

Contact information for our recommended tour operator in Jordan (who also arrange tours to other countries in the Middle East):
Jordan Beauty Tours
Tel. +962 795581644
Fax. +962 3 2154 999
E-mail: info@jordanbeauty.com
Website: www.jordanbeauty.com
Tourist St. Near Movenpick Hotel
P.O.Box : 8
Petra 71810
JORDAN

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