Friday, September 19, 2008

mbatE2008 stories: part 1: crazy talk

blogger's note: the thought of having to sit down and write everything about the mbatE2008 makes. me. tired. So instead of doing grand travelogues like last year, I'm just going to tell my stories at random: what I want, when I want. And it's my blog, so there

blogger's note, part 2: mbatE2008 stands for, in case you don't remember, most bitchingly awesome trip EVER 2008--that is, the two weeks I spent in Syria and Jordan and Israel with Amy, who has beat me to blogging some about the trip; see here or here.  


We were tired, the last day of our trip, because the day before we had biked the 40-mile circumference of the Sea of Galilee.  Let me emphasize: Israel. In August. During the day. 40 miles.  Yeah, it was hot. 

Biking in Jesus' footsteps.  I'm glad my back sweat isn't visible in this picture. 

We were also tired, of course, from two weeks spent traveling at our pace--no time for sleeping! no time for eating!--and so were happy to spend an afternoon, after having crossed from Israel back into Jordan, hanging around Amman sampling Arab desserts. 

Kunafa. I'm for it. 

As we were sitting there, a fight started brewing on the street--loud voices, lots of arm waving. That's not too unusual, so I didn't bother to listen at first, until I caught some of what one man was shouting: 

"You never change!  Americans can change--they change their president every four years!  They're having an election right now!  You Arabs, though, just sit around all day doing nothing!"

Interesting, I thought, so I tuned into the fight. From the looks on the faces of those watching, this was crazy-homeless-guy talk, not normal fight-on-the-street talk. The guy shouted some more along those lines, detailing the worthlessness of his listener, who, after a few minutes, lost patience and walked away, with the guy still shouting as his back, throwing out his final invective:

"What are you, an EYE doctor? Interested in EYE medicine?"

I made eye contact with another bystander and raised my eyebrows in a question: WTF?  He shrugged at me: Who knows. Just ignore the crazy homeless guy. 

Ignore I did, but the phrase has stuck with me: what a nice rhythm, what total lack of sense. And in the last few weeks, back to normal life, guess what runs through my head when someone bumps into me, cuts in line, opens their car door as I'm biking past, or tries to pay in pennies at the grocery store:

What are you, an EYE doctor? Interested in EYE medicine?  


Diane said...

yes EYE am.

ARR, watch out for me EYE patch.

EYE, maitey, happy talk like a pEYErat day.


Annie said...

my phrase like that is, " name's not JAMES!" all annoyed and incredulous like. i might have to mix it up a bit, though, because being interested in eye medicine is just unacceptable and must be made fun of, right?

jeff said...

Ay ay ay.

This guy makes perfect sense.

Seagulljaap said...

The problem here is is that there is still no time for sleeping or eating.

my name is amy said...

EYE keeping forgetting to comment on this post. aw, the memories. EYE love this story.