Wednesday, August 31, 2011

two years ago...

In the summer of 2009, I spent a month in Jordan, studying Arabic. My language skills were poor, my skirts too short, and my flip-flops were totally unsuitable for the slick floors outside of Ali Baba Language Center.

Dave Barry's travel guide to Japan compares American tourists to water buffalo. In the eyes of the Japanese, he says, we're big, dumb, unable to communicate, and bump into things a lot. In Jordan, I felt more like an ostrich: wide-eyed, half-naked, and comically flightless--no matter how vigorously I flapped my wings.

But things worked out. I changed into pants, made friends who took good care of me (thanks, friends!), and even found places to swim (wayn al-masbah?). I learned so much from the people around me, and returned to the states with a renewed determination to learn Arabic.

Below are a some pictures and videos from my last trip.

Overlooking Amman and (at one point) the world's tallest flagpole

Market in Amman

During a trip up north, my classmates and I got stuck in some traffic.  Then all of the cars around us parked. It was a wedding! Check out what was in the metal dishes:

Mansaf! We were honored with a goat's head. Too intense of an honor for this vegetarian...

Iftar is the meal that breaks a fast (e.g. during Ramadan, when I found this ad). Gotta hand it to McDonalds for their culturally-attuned advertising.

Climbing the Nabatean tombs in Petra

Touristy Bedouin campsite in the middle of Wadi Rum

Ramallah's Stars and Bucks Cafe. The Arabic transliterates "cocktail wa [and] coffee, stars and bucks"

Seen this before? (The Dome of the Rock)

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