Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Not Drowning But Wading

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.


mysh said...

Huh. Jordan really does look like southern Utah.

The Dancing Newt said...

Behind. Snigger.

Diane said...

Disappointed that the pictures didn't show the skinny dippers.

Th. said...



Petra said...


TOLD you so!

Dancing Newt--

Or, okay, in front of. And beside. Whatever.


Since I can't believe that you're seriously advocating posting naked pictures, I'm going to ignore you.




Zillah said...

yeah, i don't think you're in jordan. you're hanging out in a trailer on the outskirts of moab.

Petra said...


Okay, you caught me. It's all part of my fiendishly clever plan...for what, I'll keep to myself.

No, seriously, though, these pictures were taken in Moab--the real Moab.

Annie said...

i think i'm about to reach my cheesy/doting-comment quota:
'planet earth' for $5??? petra, you're LIVING 'planet earth'!

Nathan said...

Dearest Petrushka,

I've always admired your imagination, but come on. Everybody knows there are no naked people in the Middle East. If Allah wanted people to be naked, He would have them born that way.

Sncrly yrs,