Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Extra-ordinary": Day 2, 3 and so far

Kid's Expo performance
Soldiers stopping for prayer
Palestinian natives
I thought I'd write to you about whatever's out of the ordinary. But keeping track of what is out of the ordinary would be counterproductive in this case, because everything seems novel. Starting from the beautiful homogenity of stone buildings, to the cascading roads, to the conversations with people here to the soldiers standing guard against Syrians welcoming an "American" into Jordan. I had the best shisha I ever had while watching Germany win with a local Jordanian guy after volunteering at a Kids' exhibition thingy the entire day.

And I cannot rant enough about the Dead Sea adventures. While floating in the sea with skin-awesoming mud was great, the salty spill into my eyes wasn't. However soon after the burning stopped I had, what I think, one of the most adrenaline pumping experience I ever had. I hiked a real canyon, the idea of which is so alien to me given my conservative family background. Yes.  Not only was it extremely rocky, there were parts which lacked a place to rock-climb/walk so I had to actually cross rapids by walking, gliding, sliding, swimming. 4-5 hours long, what a workout. I glided, collided (with rocks), panted, swallowed water, adorned scabs and it was the best thing ever. 
Drenched after the Zarka Ma'in hike

Every instance is eventful, starting from the act of acquiring  breakfast to absorb Amman each day after work in wandering awe. The other day, before suddenly planning to go see the Dead Sea, I ventured to get qahwa (coffee) and something to eat from roadside cafes where I just knew language issue would be an issue. I, a Bangladesh student from Amriika, ended up getting free coffee from one of the nicest men I ever met. 

The coffee however, was not as nice to me. The roadside cafe lacked the sophistication of cup holders and lids that an American consumer is used to. The sway of the coffee, which was heated over a tiny coal stove, knocked over the lid as I walked over to a cab and burned my hand. The same thing happened to my new friend Zaidoon yesterday: the charm of chances, eh? My burned hand pored over a notepad as I waited by a secluded corner of the roadside waiting for my tour guide to pick me up. 

How can I possibly resist ranting?

The only problem for me right now is feeding myself. Not that the taste of the food is the issue, but the access. Amman is an expensive city so I try to not spend unless its for a cab or for travel and just at home and the people I'm living with have different mealtimes than I am used to. For example they often don't eat breakfast. For example they often eat dinner super early or super late and I don't know when to get home. I feel like I'm in Mahboob Household again because it's a conservative family so I have to come home by 10pm. Life. And it makes me realize why the whole trip seems so damn colorful to me- because it had never even conceived in my mind that this kind of venture was possible. For me, a Bangladeshi-Muslim woman from a Middle class family, ripe for marriage. Possession of the knowledge that something out there, call it luck or call it fruits of labor, have decided to give me privileges beyond my own imagination. 

 Yesterday I had the best falafel of my life at Rainbow Street. And the best shisha. And ofcourse, mint tea. And Shwarma. Today my supervisor arranged to bring me a famous Jordanian dish called Mansaf. And then there was the Kunafa from my new friend Dana's engagement party.

A hedonistic foodie's excitement.


“One main factor in the upward trend of animal life has been the power of wandering.” – Alfred North Whitehead

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