I’ve never stayed in a hotel described as being “only for pop stars, diplomats and people with expense accounts.” Until now. (First post via Blackberry!)

Unfortunately that sweeping review made in a leading travel guidebook must have been referring to the Executive Tower.

Because my room is a perfect multi-sensory experience of mobile Amman, that is, an unobstructed view of the 6-lane highway, the acoustics a sound engineer would kill for that ensure I can distuguish the passage of each individual vehicle and questionable interior design.

Cruelly, the display on the ground floor of the elevator bank for the non-executive tower consists of fabric swatches, flooring samples and beautifully styled photos of the new rooms in the tower that shall not be mentioned again.

But I can’t blame room envy for my sleepless state. It comes partially self-inflicted and partly induced by events beyond my control.

The event I could have controlled was the imbibing of not one, but two Diet Cokes with dinner. When will I ever remember that while Diet Coke is virtually calorie free, that state does not apply to its caffeine content?

Add to that a rather generous afternoon nap (hey, I was trying to get into the local custom!) and a little jetlags and, well, it’s 4:28 and here I type.

But it would probably have been okay if it weren’t for the 2am incident, in which I was woken by the unmistakeable sound of someone having difficulty opening their hotel door. The incessant handle jiggling and reinsertions of the key card and accompanying murmurings was irritating.

But then it turned immediately high alert as a loud clank announced that it wasn’t the neighbouring room they were trying to get into but mine. What’s more, whoever ‘they’ were, they had the door open as far as the unsubstatilal safety chain would give.

I leapt to the door and stood ready to do battle with the intruders. As I peered around the door I found a collection of hotel staff attempting to open my door for a drunk bridal couple.

“You are sharing the room I think?” Asked the hotel man. I almost wanted to ask him if he was mad. But I immediately set the record straight: “I’ve never seen these people before!”

They couple looked disappointed, apologies were profuse and everyone departed, but sleep has proved to be elusive since, the adrenaline rush putting me over the edge and into a state of extreme alertness.

Sigh, so now I am witnessing the immams announcing the first call to prayer: 4:40!


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