I went to Shanghai International Expo with the aim to visit the pavilions of the countries that captivate me. So I found myself on the lookout of the nations I'm curious to visit.
Admittedly, they are a lot and due to the many queues standing in front of each pavilion, I realised I wasn't going to see them in only one afternoon.
I had to make a choice and this didn't take me long: Middle East.
Just off Shibo Avenue lied all "my" countries, and for my greater convenience the Asia Joint Pavilion II gathered most nations I had in mind. This is how I made my way to discover the ancient wonders of charming Jordan.
Jordan is renowned for its timeless beauty, and travelers are bedazzled by its evocative landscapes and heritage, but getting under the skin of place is always a challenge, and dawdling about Jordan pavilion felt like taking a crash course in digging deeper into a foreign society and sharing cultural norms with its people.
Goes without saying that the welcoming of the visitors was prerogative of the overwhelming landscape of Petra, and after walking past the initial posters I was met by Jordanian products, styles and atmosphere. Looking about me, I realised that Jordanians have all the good reasons to be proud of their country.
What was on display were the typical products coming from Jordan, from food, to pots, to textiles, all oozing the flavours and ochre colours that belong to the Middle Eastern region and represent much of its identity. Since I've been to the United Arab Emirates, I've fallen in love with those countries where the desert plays a major role, both geographical and social.
Visiting Jordan vicariously through its pavilion has proved as inspiring as I had predicted, and the neighbouring nations-pavilions, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine, managed to keep high my enthusiasm and make me promise I will come back next time I visit the Expo, in the wait to experience the real country.