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While I’m on it – Thomas Cook in Jordan

As my previous post is a picture from my ‘specials’ collection during my time in Jordan, I can as well talk a little bit more about it.

I went to college in Belgium fron September ’04 until June ’09. It was a commercial graphical course with many opportunities awaiting fresh graduates. Only, when I graduated, the beginning of the economical recess appeared. This has lead to a close-to-be-frustrated boy. Lucky for the univers, I am, or at least ‘was’, not easily frustrated.

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After college, I wanted to make a quick jump into working life. Turned out that I made a jump in the sand of Wadi Rum.

I started my job search immediately and hoped to have a job after my well earned holiday in Portugal (pictures of Portugal will follow somewhere in the future). Unfortunately, since it was recess, many people just got fired. An overflowing supply for a very small demand to fill new positions. Weekly, I applied for jobs, sending resumes and visiting companies, but in December, I still didn’t get the job I wanted. Time for a new strategy.

That strategy was to stop looking into my diploma area and going for something else. There are so many possibilities. We just have to grab them. A cousin of mine applied at Jetair to be an entertainer which sounds awesome, right? I applied too, but without success (both of us). Then, I applied at Thomas Cook to be a host on a holiday destination and from one day to the other, I was hired.

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This is me in my Thomas Cook outfit next to the flag pole in Aqaba. That flag is almost as big as a football field.

I had to arrange everything fast, because the next week, I would already leave for Mallorca, Spain, for 3-weeks or training. That was from around February 10 until February 28, 2010. At the end of the training, I received my destination: Jordan. I didn’t really know the country, so a complete new adventure was awaiting.

By March 19, I went to Jordan. No idea what was happening exactly, they’ve put me on a mini-bus. Apparently, the first 3 days of work are visiting places and learning about the country. I made a small roundtrip in the country to see where my guests also go to. I went to: Petra, Wadi Rum, Mount Nebo and Madaba, Dead Sea and some Romas ruins. A three day submersion in old Roman and Arab culture.

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Having a Jordanian tea in a camp in Wadi Rum.

After the roundtrip, my job had to start. But I had a job that would make many jealous. This is my weekly plan for my job:
Friday, pick up guests at the hotel and bring them to the airport
• Friday, pick up new guests at the airport and bring them to their hotels
• Whilst on the bus, welcome the guests and invite them for a holiday meeting
• Friday evening or Saturday morning, holiday meeting with the guests
• Provide all information for a relaxed and/or active holiday
• Sell excursions (and earn nice commission)
• Have activities with the guests:

  • Walk through the hotel
  • Walk in the city
  • Go snorkeling in Red Sea
  • Water games in the pool
  • … (yes, I got paid to play games and have fun)

• Daily visiting hour, but I rarely had guests with questions
•Every Wednesday, visit Wadi Rum with my guests

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The old SUV, each with six of my guests, starting their trip through the desert. All jeeps are driven by a Bedouin guy who lives in the desert.

And that’s about it. Add to it that most of my guests do several excursions, that gives you a freshly graduated boy, relaxing at the pool with a (virgin) cocktail and he gets paid for it. I lived at the hotel, so my drinks and food were included (5* buffet every day), laundry was done for me and room was cleaned every two days, sleeping in a king size bed and free wireless internet. Can life become any nicer?

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Sunset over the Red Sea in the bay of Aqaba.

Yes it can, because during my stay in Jordan, I had a Filipino girlfriend. Turned out that this same girlfriend was gonna become my wife. I didn’t see that one coming while I signed up for the job.

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During my visit in Petra, one of the Seven New World Worders.

Anyway, I added some pictures to this post to show some places I’ve visited. I have thousands of pictures from Jordan, but I have limited space. I hope you like them. Anyone who needs tips or information linked to my stay in Jordan, ask!

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Floating on the salty water of Dead Sea. Go visit it while it’s still this salty. Dead Sea is evaporating and to keep the water high, they will add ‘normal water’ from Red Sea.

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Blue Agama in Wadi Rum

Blue Agama in Wadi Rum

This is the Blue Agama, a lizard that lives (among other places) in Wadi Rum, Jordan. While I worked in Jordan for 7 months, I visited the desert of Wadi Rum every week. However, only during my second visit, I was able to capture this beautiful creature. After that, I have never seen one again.