It all would’ve been fine if Caleb and Liam hadn’t quarreled about who woke up whom at what time.
There we were at breakfast at the wonderfully named Moevenpick Hotel (say it out loud: move-n-pick, like pick-n-roll but without the ball), just outside the gates to Petra. We’d spent the entire day before climbing around ruins that had been ruins since Christ was a boy—literally—and now my own darling boys were wrangling about whether Caleb woke up at 6AM or 7.
Liam, adamant, insisted it had been six; Caleb, equally adamant, insisted that it had been seven.
Husband solved the problem by consulting the oracle of google,which told us that Jordan had instituted “winter time” (daylight savings time) that night, so that, in fact, both boys were right: it had been seven AND six.
Wicked early, no matter how you slice it, but it stopped the bickering. We dutifully turned our watches back an hour, took one more look out the windows at Petra’s sandy hills, and then packed our car for the three-hour drive up to the Dead Sea.
So lucky, we told ourselves, that Jordan had turned back the clocks: it meant that we could take our time on our drive, but still have most of the afternoon at our Dead Sea hotel. We puttered along, in our rented Citroen (has ever a car been more aptly named?), marveling at the view (okay, Husband and I marveled at the view; the boys marveled at the sights unfurling on their iPads. Upside: no bickering, no whining, no whenarewegonnabetheres. Downside: they saw almost nothing of the splendid, ancient countryside).
Indeed, that extra hour gave us more time in the Dead Sea, where we bobbled around until sunset, watching the lights come on in the tiny towns on the opposite shore (Israel, the country that can be seen but not named).
Blissfully scrubbed, skin gleaming from our self-applied mud baths, we presented ourselves at the hotel restaurant for our 7PM dinner reservation.
“Oh no,” said the host. “You’ve missed it. You’re an hour late.”
An hour late? How could that be? We checked our watches, showed him our iOracles, all indicating that it was 7PM on the dot. We explained that we’d even been so clever as to adjust our clocks back, to account for Jordan’s daylight savings time.
He nodded, pitying comprehension dawning on his face. “There is no daylight savings this year,” he said. “On Wednesday, the government decided not to.”
Just like that? Like an entire government of Bartlebys, they simply preferred not to?
Apparently so. And our oracle, the god google, as is the case with oracles, refused to admit its mistake and could shed no light on why Jordan would simply withdraw winter time; nor would it tell us what time our plane would leave the next day.
Here’s how I see it: if my kids hadn’t argued about who had woken up when, and if Husband hadn’t consulted google and found out about the time change, then we wouldn’t have changed the clocks…And we’d have been on time. So my children, google, and the King of Jordan are to blame for our confusion.
Our flight the next day, by the way, was listed online as leaving Amman at 3PM.
We arrived at the airport to discover that the flight was leaving on time.