Tuesday, August 15, 2017


I am convinced you cannot truly understand your own values, your own culture, your own station in life until you are exposed to the values and culture and conditions of another country.Traveling in Jordan will help you understand all that.Americans generally don’t know the difference between Lebanon and Jordan and Syria and Egypt. Jordan suffers by association. All are war and upheaval. Without fail, the first question asked after telling someone you’re going to Jordan is, “Will you be safe?”
The country is an oasis of tranquillity in the turbulent Middle East. The economy relies heavily on tourism. Three years ago, tourists had to schedule their itinerary around what and when hotels were available. This year? Pick a place. Pick a hotel. Discounts available.
Airline standards are not homogenous. From Frankfurt to Amman business/first class is three contiguous economy seats with the middle one vacant. A moveable curtain arbitrarily divides economy from first, depending on the number of business/first customers.The Cliff’s Notes version of Jordanian politics. It’s a constitutional monarchy with a king, an elected parliament and an appointed government. However, the king has wide-ranging legislative and judicial power. He can disband parliament, fire government officials and overturn judicial and legislative decisions. I worked at a university like this. The president was the king; the faculty assembly was the Parliament; deans and VPs were the government officials. I felt right at home in Jordan.

Seatbelts are required when flying over Israeli airspace. No Allah Akbah in the aisle when flying over the Holy Land.
We are met at the airport by locals associated with our tour company. We are a tour of four. The associates have already secured the required visas. We are escorted to a separate passport control line, then around security and out to a waiting van. An hour has been condensed into fifteen minutes.
Queen Alia Airport in Amman is new and high and bright. The outside roofline is a succession of gigantic saucers standing vigil, looking over and through expanses of glass as though to ensure there is peaceful behaviour among those who enter and exit the Kingdom.
Three things required for potentates to stay in power in a developing country; roads, health care and education. Roads allow local commerce to be national commerce, national to be international. Good health and education allow citizens to participate in and garner the rewards of commerce. The king will stay in power.
There is no one at Shawbak Castle except a well-wrapped man selling rugs off the back of a truck, the ticket guy and we four. Expansive crusader ruins on an imposing mountaintop. The Crusaders may have died of boredom because no one was foolish enough to attack.

When a lamb is born, they take it from its mother and lay it close to a donkey. This becomes the lamb’s mother image. When the shepherd wants to move the flock, he straddles the donkey, off they go and the sheep follow.Landscape between Amman and Petra is like the Sandhills of Nebraska, but with rocks instead of sagebrush.
We are asked if we would like to drink camel’s milk. The first time you drink it, you throw up, have diarrhoea and chills and shakes and deliriums. But after that, it is good for you.
The Mövenpick in Petra is billed as a five-star hotel. Hotels are complex machines. The owners sent the directions with a few pages missing.
The staff are learning by doing.Guest at the front desk: Could you confirm that I’m in room 303? There’s someone else in there.
We return to our room after dinner to find a message on the TV screen welcoming NaYee Ng. We are pleased to welcome you to your home in Jordan.
The only places allowed to sell wine and/or beer are the Mövenpick and a couple restaurants. You want wine, sir. You can buy wine in Aquaba. That’s a four-hour drive south.         
Our Petra guide is named “Mock-mood”. He teaches anatomy to biology students in a university, is a tour guide and helps his father herd goats. He wants 12 children because his father had 11.
Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world. Every millennium God painted the highlands near Wadi Musa a different shade of cinnamon. The highlands grew and became mountains. One day he dropped the palette and cracked the mountains. And men call it Petra.
The quality of the goods in the government tourist shops is much better than in the shops on the street.
The Wadi Rum (Rum Valley) is a red desert valley with wrinkled pound cake outcroppings drizzled with charcoal shale. Hard to determine if it’s a mountain range eroding into dust or a desert that is congealing into mountains.
Riding through the Wadi Rum is a journey back to when the time was born. We see bedouin, camel and sheep herds and the majesty of geology. It should be experienced in the sand-blown back of a corroded pickup, not from the inside any more than a shower should be experienced inside a plastic bubble.
There are four of us in a camp designed for a dozen. A barrel is fitted in a hole in the sand. Wood is burned to charcoal. Lamb and chicken and vegetables and freekah (wheat) are lowed on a grill then covered with foil. All then covered in sand. Three hours later the food is removed. It was enough for that dozen. We sit on rugs in a tent. There are utensils.   We eat with our fingers. The lousy wine is fine.
If sleeping on the ground in a pup tent and eating beans from a can is at one end of the spectrum, our camp in the Wadi Rum is at the other.
I can’t float in a pool. I can float in the Dead Sea. The water has a sticky viscosity that cradles you like a liquid hammock. On a windy day, the white caps are Dream Whip.
The attendant slathers me in charcoal-colored mud avoiding only my eyes and ears. The mud sits for ten minutes, then back into the sea to wash off the mud. Next, a shower to wash off the sea. Revitalizing, restorative, rejuvenating, ah yes. But like the wine in my glass, how long will it last?
There is one thing Jordanians cannot do. They cannot swim in a pool, for much the same reason Americans cannot saddle a camel. The locals thrash and splash. When I walk by, I consider jumping in for the rescue.
There is one thing Jordanians do not do well. Bartend. Google Bartender School in Amman, see what you get. A craft beer is Amstel.
There is a battalion of Indonesian service personnel working in the Ishtar Kempinski Hotel on the Dead Sea. There is only a platoon of guests for them to serve. They are trained to expedite their duties, with no one else around, they expedite on us.

Perhaps there is a strategy to inadequate signage. Guests thus explore the far reaches of the resort in search of an elevator 20 meters from their room.
 In the near reaches are a half-dozen meandering pools accessorized by palm trees and lounge chairs and views of the hills of Israel across the sea.
The hotel has a second lobby; the place is too big for only one. We stumble across a Pan-Asian restaurant that we thought was either a secret or a rumour.
There is a small, tidy, modern mall not far from the hotel. It has a nice coffee shop. We sit on the lanai overlooking the sea and Israel. I hear gunshots, my wife says. I listen. My dear, that is the sound of bubbles circulating through the water in a hookah.
Our driver from the Kempinski back to Amman was named Nadir−call me Nick. He studied at the U. of Illinois−Chicago and lived there for 20 years. What do you miss about the U.S., Nick? Everything.
Nick crossed the street. He understands his culture and values and station in life. He came back.
Now he wishes he were still across the street.

 Dr. Rodney Romig is the award-winning author behind the Dr. Dan Trix mystery series, seven standalone novels featuring an intellectual hero whose adventures take readers all over the world. The latest installment in the series, Solar Flare, is available now at amazon.com.
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Your Complete Guide to Man With a Van and Moving Process

Your Complete Guide to Man With a Van and Moving Process

A couple of years back, we understood that hiring casual man with a van removalists quotes to potential clients via phone was exceptionally risky and tedious. Who knows they will even show up or where would you go to find them? There used to be various different queries in relation to booking moving services. But today, it has become a cakewalk to book removalists easily.

Things to Consider Before Hiring Man With a Van

The primary thing to note when you are planning to hire men with a truck for your moving purpose is the vehicle. With respect to van measure, it's not unordinary for movers to utilize a bigger van than what may appear to be important for a specific move.

The purpose behind this is essentially down to current van accessibility and furthermore, given that a few men with a truck simply want to work a uniform team of certain estimated vehicles.

Furthermore most man with a van additionally keep up two or three bigger vehicles. In any case, whichever van your specific removalist utilizes on the day, it has no effect to the rate you have officially concurred.

The most essential thing is clearly that the removalist van is at any rate sufficient enough to easily take the greater part of your stuff - not the a different way. So dependably attempt to guarantee you give a sensibly precise rundown of your things while finishing the quote ask for shape.

The quantity of boxes and individual merchandise are continually going to be estimate until the point that you're completely pressed so don't stress over getting the correct number of those privilege. It's more about what number of individuals are moving and posting any huge stuff like couches, quaint little inns, piano, and other massive things of furniture or white products. Likewise attempt to give other helpful data, for example, simplicity of vehicle and the stopping circumstance, to ensure you are designated an expulsion van that is of a reasonable size and will in a perfect world carry out the employment in one go.

The Four Different van Sizes Most Commonly Used by Moving Companies in Auckland

In spite of the fact that there are obviously many sorts and makes of business vans, by and large the professional movers utilize four standard sizes to complete the vast majority of the work.

These are the demonstrated solid workhorses of the moving world and will move essentially anything from a solitary room in a flatshare to a completely outfitted house - and yes people, they are quite often in white!

NOTE - Dimensions between various van makes and models do fluctuate, so dependably check specifically with your moving companies in Auckland ahead of time if access to your property has either a vehicle stature or width confinement, or if any thing that you require moving is surprisingly huge or sporadic in estimate.

In most cases as a component of their house moving agenda, individuals do keep points of interest of which service provider they manage alongside the assessed expenses to move home. Just find some good man with a van and carry forward the entire hectic task of moving onto their shoulders.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Top Ecotourism Spots in Kerala

The main reason why ecotourism is becoming more and more popular is because it represents a way of enjoying nature’s bounty in a way that it is preserved and sustained for the generations to come. This is achieved by focused and deliberate action that ensures minimal intrusion and destruction of the natural environment while supporting and sustaining the local cultures. Green tourism assumes a lot of involvement by both the tourists and the various service providers. It includes measures like recycling, water conservation and reuse, energy efficiency, and creation of livelihood opportunities for the local communities so that they can lessen their impact on the environment. Among the many states in India that are aggressively promoting ecotourism, Kerala is at the forefront with a number of wonderful destinations waiting to be explored. Here’s a glimpse of some of the best spots.

Kerala Backwaters

Quite unlike any other tourist attraction in the country, the backwaters of Kerala are famous for their unique charm and biodiversity. The best way of getting to know the attractions is to climb aboard a riverboat and take in the serene ambiance of the tranquil waters, the verdant greenery of the swaying coconut palms and lush paddy fields that abound on both sides of the river. Luxuriate in the gentle rhythm of a pastoral life of the natives that has virtually remained unchanged through centuries. As you glide on the waters, you can just imagine how life would have been when the waterways were the hub of trade and commerce with cargo boats transporting spices, coconuts, rice and a variety of other necessities to the settlements on the banks.


The favorite destination of eco-travelers, Munnar that is situated at an elevation of 1700 m, is so different from the backwaters that you would hardly believe that you were in the same state. It is a picturesque hill station covered with lush forests, orchards, tea gardens and grasslands that are the ideal habitat of a huge assortment of flora and fauna. If you have the patience, you can spot animals like the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri Tahr, gaur, elephant and birds such as Nilgiri Wood-pigeon, Orange-Crowned Warblers, Whistling Thrush, Scarlet Minivet, Nilgiri Pipit,Orange-Crowned Warbler and Broad-tailed Grassbird to mention a few. The drive is extremely scenic with numerous streams gushing through the dark and mysterious woods. Once you get down, take a stroll through the winding lakes to soak in the amazing atmosphere.


Thenmala, set majestically in the middle of lush evergreen forests in Kollam district is the country’s very first planned destination for ecotourism. Munnar offers amazingly scenic natural vistas and a unique bio-diversity that has proved to be extremely popular with both domestic and foreign tourists. There are numerous forest trails that are ideal for serious expeditions on foot and you can also set up camp in the middle of the forest if you feel like getting into a closer relationship with nature. For the more exploratory,an experience in a tree house can be very memorable while the rest can work up a lather biking, rock climbing or rappelling in the Adventure Zone. Work up an appetite walking up to the dam in the Leisure Zone and then visit the Culture Zone to have a taste of the wonderful Kerala cuisine.


Thodupuzha is most famous for being the gateway for a visit to the renowned Thommankuthu Waterfalls. It is situated in the Idukki district in the Western Ghats. The destination has become extremely popular with tourists ever since the seven-step waterfall was publicized by the legendary hunter, Thommachen Kuruvinakunnel after he discovered it in 1920. Ever since ecotourism has gained importance, the destination has been rated very high for its unspoiled rolling hills blanketed by evergreen forests.

Eravikulam National Park

Even though it is a relatively small National Park, it has proved to be among the more popular ecotourism destinations because of its immense natural beauty and the diverse flora and fauna. Situated at altitudes ranging from 1,200 meters to 2,700 meters, the park’s grasslands are crisscrossed by a number of perennial streams that ultimately merge to become the tributaries of Cauvery River, Periyar River, and Chalakudiyar River. One of the major attractions is the Lakkom Waterfalls on the Pampar River. Nature lovers adore the diversity of flora and fauna that can be observed here. Those who favor an adventurous and active lifestyle will love the opportunities for wildlife photography, walking on the mountain trails, and trekking.

Periyar National Park

Among the most-visited national parks in Southern India, the Periyar National Park stretches over a magnificent 350 sq. km. in the Pandalam Hills and Cardamom Hills in the southern portion of the Western Ghats. Apart from being home to tigers and elephants, the park is a dream come true for wildlife enthusiasts due to the presence of a great assortment of mammals, amphibians, insects, reptiles, and birds. The Periyar Lake attracts tourists because of the amazing sight of trees submerged in its waters.

Author Bio: Sujain Thomas is an architect by profession and a bio-conservationist by passion. She travels frequently across the world and has visited almost all the tiger resorts India.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tips to choose Valentine’s Day gifts for him

Admit it or not, guys are very difficult to shop for. You might be really good in selecting and buying gifts for your loved ones or family members, but when it comes to choosing Valentine’s Day gifts for husband, boyfriend or fiancé, we all are pretty much clueless!

Whatever you will be gifting him will show how much you care for him, what you think about him or the relationship so it has to be great. Also, the gift should be appropriate with the time period you both have spent together in arelationship. It should not be too pricey or too sloppy, but just perfect!
When it comes to the things you can gift to your Valentine, the window is quite small for guysand with specificpreferences; it further reduces. No need to worry there since I’m here with some great romantic gift ideas for boyfriend or husband to make your life a little easier.
Before choosing any gift for your better half, you have to think about his likings. I know sometimes you do not approve his style, but it will show that you think about him and know what your guy is into. Some Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him are:

A captivating fragrance

Perfume is the best option when you are totally confused about the gift. Check out some brands like Police, Nike, Davidoff, Cartier and York, for some pocketfriendly EDPs, EDTs and deodorants. If you wish to spend lavishly, high-end brands like Burberry, Bvlgari, FCUK, and Calvin Klein would be the apt choice.
The key is to stick to manly fragrances with musk or spicy tones with floral undertones. If you are planning to buy a floral scent for him, avoid it sweetie!

Time keeper!

Guys are crazy for gadgets and watches especially when it comes as agift. Find out what kind of watchyour man love since there are various options available in men’s watches online. Analog watches, digital watches, chronograph or a dual watch you can pick any of them, just make sure they are from a trusted brand.

Titan, Maxima, Sonata, Casio, Fastrack are some affordable brandsoffering stunning watches for men. If you wish to spoil your man with designer brands then go ahead with Citizen, Swiss Eagle, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, Seiko and the like.
You can choose the chain strap ones available in Silver, gold, or copper shade otherwise go with the classy leather strap one. With this watch, he will be always in time for the date or movie with you!

Protect his peepers!
Sunglasses add a finishing touch to one’s look. Make your man look class apart with gorgeous glares on this Valentine’s Day. You can gift him a pair of premium sunglasses like aviators, wayfarers, cat eyes or any other style you feel would suit his face shape.

A branded pair of sunglasses gives an instant boost to one’s personality and attitude. Even you can’t keep your eyes off him when he will be wearing one, isn’t it!
Some brands you can check out for sunglasses in budget are Fastrack, Allen Solly, MTV and Flying Machine. If you don’t like putting a price, go for international brands like Van Heusen, Tommy Hilfiger, UCB, Polaroid, etc.!

Accessorize him!
Aah! Who doesn’t like a gentleman! Turn your rough tough guy into an elegantly dressed up man with clothing accessories. Tie, cufflinks, belts that go well with clothing style of your man can be some of your choices. With these clothing accessories, he can complete his formal look for a business meeting or office.

You can try out simple ones or have custom-made cufflinks and tie clips to make it more special for him. Brands like Tossido, Orosilber, Lino Perros, Peora and American Crew are the brands in which you can dig into for ties, cufflinks or combo packs for your beloved.

You can make your Valentine’s Day memorable with an awesome gift that even your cutie pie can’t keep his hands off from. Organize a romantic date with delicious food cooked just for him, soft music in the background, fragrant candles and the well chosen gift for him.

Author Bio:
Minakshi Pharswal is a blogger working with India’s one of the leading online fashion destination. She has a keen interest in the gifting trends in fashion world and loves to write about them. In this article, you can read about the gifts that can be given to boyfriends and husbands on valentine’s day.