Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 188
Driving the King's Highway from
Amman to Petra and (opposite)
resting after the steep hike to
"Most Jordan travelers
visit Petra, Wadi Rum,
and the Dead Sea, but the
Red Sea should not be
overlooked: Seeing four
countries at one time during a breakfast cruise on a
wooden yacht is a memory
I will always cherish."
- Katie Schmit,
Virtuoso travel advisor,
V I RT U O S O L I F E
To escape the near 100-degree midday heat, we settle at a leafy
restaurant terrace. Waiters stream from the kitchen with more plates
than can fit on the table: hummus, an eggplant dip called moutabel,
olive-oil-drenched labneh yogurt, stuffed grape leaves, almond-filled
baby eggplant, falafel, pickled vegetables, four varieties of salad, and
freshly baked pita inflated like pufferfish. There's enough for twice as
many as our party of four. Halfway through the meal, the staff delivers
a second course of hot dishes bigger than the first. I force down bite
after delectable bite. Dauod studies me, then orders a third round.
This gorging game will go on for the rest of the trip: Islamic hospitality
dictates that guests should never face an empty plate.
"Eat," Dauod tells me. "It's my duty to take care of you." I suggest that
my well-being may depend on a diet, to no avail. He shakes his head, flags
down a server, and orders dessert.