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Romance & Dating

For the female traveller, opportunities for a little “R n’ S” are abundant. From your first arrival in the country you can expect to hear lines so cheesy that only dark men with Arabian accents, camels and head scarves could dream of getting away with them… ever.

You may not consider yourself to be very attractive, you may have problems attracting guys back home, you may even be a distant relative of Joseph Merrick, but fear not, for in Jordan all western women are considered to be “camels” – The slightly worrying Jordanian slang term for an attractive female.

The more fair and western looking you are the more attention you’ll receive. This is partly because western women look so different to the Jordanians themselves and are therefore considered exotic, but also because the western woman is significantly more likely to ……how shall we say….well, ‘put out’.

Omar Sheriff ‘wannabees’ will mill around you, spouting “you are a flower in the desert my dear”, or if you’re with a partner “How many camels for you wife?” Don’t be too complacent western gents, the Jordanians can be charming, old fashioned and persistent and it seems to work. So much so in fact that there have even been reports of western women giving up their creature comforts to live in a cave with a Bedouin husband in the hills and mountains around Petra.

For the male traveller, “getting to know” the local ladies is somewhat more difficult and time consuming. For one thing women don’t ‘hang out’ in public places which makes even finding a local girl a challenge. Whilst there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes in the country these are largely male dominated. A Jordanian male seen to be wining and dining a western lady will receive a pat on the back from his pals, but of course the equivalent for a Jordanian woman is significantly less prestigious (the double standard that exists the world over).

So if you’re serious about courting a lady here, you’re going to have to do it the old fashioned way, the Jordanian way. Send you mother to meet her mother. If they get on you’re families can meet. After several meetings, when the two families have decided you could be a match, romantically and financially you may get to meet with your lady for yourself. Escorted by her sister of course.

Finally after an enormous, very expensive wedding (the man’s duty to foot the bill), and enough rice and chicken to feed a small middle eastern country, you can get her into the bedroom, and then begin you’re new life together working your arse off to pay for the cost of the wedding. The tradition of having more than one wife has gone out of fashion in recent years, in fact it’s very rare. Guess why??

If that all sounds too much like hard work, and you’d really rather just have a shag, you can head to Aqaba for a night out. There are plenty of Russian and Hungarian package holidaymakers in skimpy outfits who could be yours if you have the right lines. Failing that there are an increasing amount Chinese Massage parlours springing up about the place that can provide a bit of light relief for only a few Dinars.

Tariq El Kashef

Tariq El Kashef is the author and editor of – The Online Egypt Travel Guide