I don't blog much about my daily life here in Jordan, mostly because there's not much to write about: the funniest thing that happens to me on class days is watching my classmates realize, mid-sentence, that when talking about women's issues in Arab society they're going to have to conjugate verbs for the feminine plural. And since I don't have any photos of the expression that says, "Oh, crap...can I reasonably pretend that at least one man wears the hijab or gets pregnant or becomes a victim of honor killings?", I suspect it is much funnier to me than to you.
It never ceases to surprise me that I'm living in a foreign country and not just bubbling over with odd incidents from day to day--Indonesia, after all, was a treasure trove, India not much worse, and if I had had a blog in Egypt, I could have written every day about things like competitive greetings, car accidents, dramatic illnesses, and pushy Muslim friends who wanted to take me to their neighborhood's Eid Al-Fitr celebration and teach me to pray. Jordanians, apparently, are not completely insane: in contrast with Egypt, where people lectured me every day about how Arab oil comes from the corpses of dead heroes, transformed by Allah as a reward for their faithfulness, Jordanians refrain from conspiracy theories and instead say perfectly reasonable things like "I hate George W. Bush" and "the U.S. presence in Iraq is causing problems" and "these rising oil prices are very hard on everyone." The craziest thing I've heard from someone yet is that I should say "Praise Allah" when I sneeze, because every time I do, Allah kills a dog in my place. That was from an Iraqi, though, so I'm not sure it counts.
So, basically, I go to class, go out to eat, wander around Amman, do my Arabic homework, buy pirated DVDs (Planet Earth for $5!), hang out shirtless with my roommates (hey, it's hot), visit Jordanian friends, attend prayers at a local mosque, and read lots of linguistics articles. It's quite the life--and I agree with the recent Jordan Times article, citing the king that 'Jordan is doing fine'--but it also means that there's nothing to see here, folks, move along. Or, rather, it means that all my blog entries inevitably focus less on the weekdays, and more on the weekends, when I do things like swim/wade up this river:
through this canyon:
to go skinny dipping under this waterfall:
Yup. Nothing to see here. Nothing at all. Move along.