Mildly depressed, Ramadan and moving on

Day 1,681 since October 10th 2013: 145 countries out of 203. No flight, no return home and min 24 hrs in each country.

Let’s get out of here!

oval plaza 2

I’m pretty sure that this will be a short blog.

So, I think I’m flirting with depression again. I know it must be hard for you to grasp as you most likely only see the top of the iceberg in regards to this project. Isn’t that just a pretty fair description of social media in general? With social media you are in control of what others they see. So obviously you shouldn’t believe it all. Just as these are my words: from me to you. Let’s set the record straight: I’m not depressed and I have never been depressed. What is depression anyway? I once heard a talk by Andrew Solomon in which he referred to that the depressed know how pathetic their situation is. They know it’s ridiculous not being able to muster the motivation to get dressed, have a shower or eat. And knowing that while still feeling horrible probably doesn’t help the situation. I figure that being depressed is feeling bad while not being motivated to do anything at all.


I can still find the energy to smile on occasion. I still get dressed and eat. I skipped a few showers but not to the degree where I would smell bad. I had a few days where I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything else than sleep and watch YouTube videos. I do not know how many videoes I have seen but it is an embarrassing amount in a short amount of time. And for the most part those videos weren’t educational. I couldn’t do anything more regarding the Saudi visa than what I had already done. I was just locked into a waiting position. For each day which passed I got to think: “well, there went another one”. I haven’t made many Jordanian friends. I’ve made a few but they have been busy with family and work. I made a few friends at the hostel where I’ve been staying but as you can imagine, they often leave after a day or two. 


I really like Jordan. Jordan is certainly a friendly and outmost interesting country to visit. However lately I’ve been thinking that it’s a fairly slow country as well. I believe that it’s a country which looses many opportunities and doesn’t fulfill its potential. You may remember that I was invited to appear on the “Caravan Show” some time ago. My appearance was cancelled during the last minute as the producer informed me that there was still much interest and that she would get back to me. She never did. I also met with a powerful businesswoman who wanted me to come and speak at a forum. That has also never happened. The list goes on in regards to broken promises and lost opportunities. And yet you’ll find several progressive initiatives across Jordan such as low taxes on hybrid and electric vehicles. There are plans to refill the Dead Sea with water from the Red Sea. The countryside is full of wind turbines generating electricity. Jordan enjoys peace from one side of the country to the other. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just full... I cannot see any real progress regarding the Saudi visa which is directly linked to me staying in Jordan. There is some progress regarding the visa, however I can continue to manage it online from anywhere in the world. So really...what’s keeping me in Jordan?

stairs 2

I met Eva from Seattle (USA) at my hostel. She’s a really nice person and she made the initial contact. I was halfway asleep one morning while eating my breakfast and drinking my tea. There were plenty of free tables where she could have sat down. But Eva aimed straight for my table, sat down and started to talk. She’s actually really enjoyable company. After breakfast Eva headed out to explore Amman on her own. We spoke again during the evening. The next day she wanted to go to Jerash which is a Greco-Roman site about an hour north of Amman. I had been thinking about going for a long time but I couldn’t motivate myself and also had to much work in Amman. So Eva and I teamed up and had a nice day together. I regret not having the chance to say farewell to her. She was heading to the airport that night and had called a taxi to take her. I was on skype with my fiancée and when I came down to the reception I was told that Eva had left five minutes before. So Eva, if you’re reading this I just want to say thank you and safe onwards traveling :)

oval above



Eva helped make this video. See the video by clicking HERE or by clicking directly on the photo.

The Ramadan has finally kicked off. They were unsure if it would begin last Wednesday or Thursday. “It depends on the moon” is what people would say. Being pro science I would certainly think it would be possible to calculate the moons position for the next million years if that’s what we wanted to do? So I looked it up online and it’s perhaps more related to tradition than rooted in science. The moon may scientifically be at the right position but it doesn’t count if it’s not observable. There could be clouds blocking the visual confirmation or other things hindering it. The Ramadan began yesterday and it will run for a month. It’s a month of fasting between sunrise and sunset. No eating, drinking, smoking, brushing teeth, chewing gum or otherwise taking anything into the body during daylight hours. There are exceptions of course. If you’re a child, a pregnant woman or if you’re sick then the fasting does not apply to you. I rather like the idea of the Ramadan and I’d like to try to follow it some day. There is a social aspect of being in “the same boat” together. I’m hungry, he’s hungry, she’s hungry, they’re hungry... Everyone is closely observing at the time, counting down until it’s time to quench the thirst and fill the tummy. Some also argue that it has health benefits while others argue against it. One of the main arguments against the health benefits is that some people tend to overcompensate during the nighttime.


See the video by clicking HERE or by clicking directly on the photo.

Amman has been getting ready for it for a while. Side streets have been covered by large pieces of fabric or tarpaulin for shade while tables and chairs have appeared beneath. Decorations in the form of electric lights have been put up in the streets. And more than anything else it’s also the time when all my Muslim friends send me “Ramadan Karim” or “Ramadan Mubarak” messages on WhatsApp and Facebook :)

keep calm

Right, that’s all folks. I’ve bought myself a ticket and I left this morning. Can you work out where I’m taking you next?


Best regards
Mr. Torbjørn C. Pedersen (Thor) - farewell Jordan!
"A stranger is a friend you've never met before"


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