Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Marhaba from Jordan

Today all morning till afternoon I have been busy with my 'Keep Calm' projects that I haven't touched for about a week. Since I made this blog I was so hooked up on blogging world. I was busy browsing other stitchers' blogs, 'oooh' 'aaah'-ing the finished pieces (they all are lovely and amazing!), put them on my following list and blog list. It is funny that this blog doesn't make me more productive, but otherwise :-) So today I decided not to go online because if my stitching interrupted with internet then I won't go back to my stitching again :)

In the afternoon I decided to turn my laptop on because I wanted to buy tickets to Cirque de Soleil  for me and my daughter. I have been wanting to watch them since a long time ago. They performed in Christchurch in 2011 (we left New Zealand already and I envied my friends who watch!), and 2010 in Istanbul. We were in Turkey at that time, but it was too expensive to go there (we lived in Konya, about 1 hour to Istanbul by plane, or 10 hours by car) only to watch a circus. And now for the first time ever they performed in Amman! (have I mentioned this is me and my husband first experience to live in a capital city? we moved around but never been lived in Jakarta, Wellington, Ankara and Damascus!). Unfortunately all the seats are sold for the class that I wanted (the cheapest one is 25 JD, its around 35 USD). There were one or two actually but they are far apart (some even in different side of the stage!). There is no way I would be seated separated from my 4 years old daughter, and no way I would buy higher class seats available (80 JD, it would be 225 USD for us both!). Better I send that money to those who needed in Indonesia, or buy more fabric and threads :) Well hopefully there will be next time; my younger son would be older and allowed to watch (they don't give admission to children younger than 3 yo) so the whole family could go together (then it means we need to reach our pocket a little deeper to buy 4 tickets :-p). Thank God I haven't mentioned and haven't made any promise to my daughter otherwise she would be very disappointed!

Anyways, since I am online already I decided to peek a little at blogspot. Its surprised me I have 10 followers today and also one new comment :) After made the reply and checked back the followers sites I started to click on the new posts from my blog list. I was surprised to see my blog was featured by Jo on her post here. As I commented to her, I was a bit embarassed but very very grateful, I would be very happy to have new friends to interact in this cross stitching world wide webs :) Thank you so much Jo!

So... for my new friends, readers, followers... MARHABA from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan!
Marhaba means Hello in Arabic, in Turkey we say it as 'Merhaba', in Maori they say 'Kia Ora' and in Indonesia we simply say 'Halo' :)
My name actually Yuana. When my daughter was around 18 months and we just moved in Turkey she was confused what to call me: in New Zealand people called me her 'mum', in Indonesia they called me 'bunda' (we stayed in Indonesia for 5 months in between Christchurch and Konya), and in Turkey they called me 'anne', but most of the time everybody call me by name, so she imitated it but couldn't really able to pronounce it yet so she called me 'YANA'. Many people in Turkey and Indonesia would frown (in our culture its impolite to call older people by name, particularly for your parents) but I think it was cute :) Not long after that I got pregnant to my son and in doctor's clinic they would call me 'Yuana Hanım', at the first time I didn't realise the nurse was calling my name, I stayed on my chairs until she called me several time and my husband nudged me 'I think its your name' :-p I found it funny and wrote on my facebook. My friends started to combine two nickname: Yanahanim and the name sticks :) Hanım (pronounced as HANEM) means Mrs or madam. oh btw now my daughter calls me 'mama', and I expect it would keep changing depends on where we live, where her school is and what majority of nationalities in her class :) for my husband she called him 'baba' when speaks to him in Turkish but 'daddy' when she speaks in English and Indonesian. Oh ya her Turkish is much better than me, she learned from Turkish dubbed of Canadian animation 'CALLİOU' :)

I don't have any stitching picture to show today but since this is my 'hello' post I want to share our latest holiday pictures, taken in Wadi Rum last easter (April 2012). Visit Jordan website describes this place as:

This is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and God-like..." A maze of monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750m creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000-year-old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store. Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, their exploits intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area.
This place was SO AMAZİNG, we had a great and memorable time there, took hundreds picture (I had 12 albums on my facebook from Wadi Rum only!). We had one day jeep tour, visited some places of interest (did some climbing and hiking there), lots of relax - relax and relax! (quite opposite of typical tours where you usually being dragged here and there and everything was timed by the guide, in here they said 'take your time!' whenever we asked how long we can spend the time in particular site), blown away by Bedouin hospitality, stayed in a Bedouin camp in the middle of protected areas and ended the trip with camels ride. Beyond our imagination this trip turn out to be the best child friendly holiday ever! No sharp edges from the furnitures in the hotels, no climbing the hotel tables, no cable laying around, no electric plug at all, no telephone to picked and dialed the front desk accidentally... just sand, sand, and sand... and a lot of Bedouins who were ready and willing to spoil our children and made them felt as if they were the prince and princess of the desert!.

The visitor center with the famous 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' in the background

Enjoyed their biggest sand pit ever! (Khazali Canyon)
A little drama where my husband said 'help... wateeer!' and the kids crawled down to rescue him. This is very high red sand dunes. Dilara hiked all the way by herself and Ali was being carried halfway. When we hiked up I thought to myself 'we must be crazy' but the view from the top was priceless and to go down we went sliding :) oh so fun!

He made it to the top of Um Frouth Arch

Ali, sitting on 'The Chicken and the Egg' rocks

Waiting for the sunset on the red dunes overlooking the white dunes. On the left was David our Canadian friend and  the one in the middle taking Dilara's pic was Raj, our Bedouin driver and guide.

Our camp was secluded and surrounded by rocks formation. A little separated from the main tent, on the left was our family tent. The tent was typical Bedouin tent, hand woven from goat's hair

The camel ride back to the village. Dilara was trying the camel by herself, she was brave enough but when the camel stood she felt the height and said 'I dont like it, I wanna go down!' so my husband took her on his camel. Ali was hysterical but once I put him on my mobywrap he was settled and even fell asleep!. The picture was taken by David who rode on a camel behind us (he said he got so many butts view back there LOL his camel was naughty as well, kept nibbling my husband's kuffiyeh (the headdress)).

I hope you enjoy the pics, the only thing I regret is I wish I had my cross stitch with me. Imagine the picture, cross stitching on the top of the sand dunes overlooking the house of Lawrence of Arabia? I still have other ambition though; cross stitching on the dead sea... hope I would be able to make it :)

I almost forgot to mention KANAVİÇE (pronounced as 'kanawice', read as it is don't read it as kanawais ^-^) in Turkish means Cross stitch. In Indonesia there are many names for cross stitch: tusuk silang, sulam strimin, and kristik (the last one just how 'cross stitch' being heard in our ears and said by our tounge)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا


  1. Hi there, I was introduced to your blog by Jo's post! I love the photo's, it looks a beautiful place. I'm from the UK, but next year as part of our honeymoon cruise, we are lucky enough to be visiting Jordan for 2 days and I'm so looking forward to it!

    It's a shame that you can't get to see the circus, hopefully next time you'll be able to go as a family trip.

    Look forward to seeing your stitching!

    1. thanks for stopping by, Miamina :)

      I guess your shipping cruise will be docked in Aqaba port (the Red sea), its about 45 mins to Wadi Rum. I hope you'll be able to visit Wadi Rum and also Petra & the Dead sea, you gonna love them!

  2. What a beatiful pictures you have here, the place es amazing
    thanks for sharing. :)



    1. thank you Jessica :)
      unfortunately I dont speak Spanish at all but I'm looking forward to see the pictures of your work :)

  3. Your pictures are beautiful! I would love to visit there. I work in Lincoln and live in Halswell, it's such a nice little town, I hope you enjoyed studying there!

    1. Hi Michelle! We were beyond 'enjoyed' Lincoln and Christchurch, we love it sooo much! Christchurch will always have special place in our heart: we met, got married and become parents there! Everytime we were in Istanbul or Dubai airport, ready to go somewhere we always say to each other 'I wish we r going to Christchurch instead'. Our future goal is to go back and live there again, even the shakes couldnt change our mind!
      We used to live in a red two-storey flat at the corner of Kildare Terrace, next to famous grouse hotel. I love wandered around the town... New World near unversity wasnt there back then. We went to New World in Halswell every other two weeks to stock up on nappies, they always have special price for huggies there :) Halswell is a lovely suburb too... we passed it a lot either from Lincoln or Hornby to Westmorland (our best friends which were kind of our 'foster parents' live there), and my midwive clinic was in Halswell Village Midwifery. Ohhh sweet memories!!!
      take care there, i hope the aftershocks would winding down if not stop completely soon...

  4. Hello

    Your photos are stunning!
    Wishing you a good weekend!

    1. thanks Milly, I hope you are having a good weekend too!

  5. Sorry to embarass you but you've made some new friends!

    I hope they enjoyed this post as much as I did. I love the story about your name and the pictures are amazing. Looks like you all had a great time.

    1. thank you so much Jo! hope you have a great weekend :)

  6. Ooooh, what fantastic pictures...thanks for sharing! Great post.