30 March 2007


It has been restful...

06 March 2007

March Weekend

It’s been a while. This is not entirely my fault as New Blogger locked me out for a week. Blast!

Last Friday I finally took pictures of several of the flights of stairs I have been wanting to write about. Here are the slides. Being unable to blog caused me to wait several more days, and in the mean time we had an eclipse here that I also must tell you about.

The last week has been really nice here. Despite the fact that I am counting the minutes, I’ve still enjoyed my days. So let me begin with last Thursday. The JU students have continued to spend Thursday afternoons at Hasham. We all meet down there and eat and eat and have 19 cups of tea each. I learned last week that J and I have the same secret boyfriend, and we were both plotting and planning, but she got to sit next to him at lunch. Then, she told him that she knew the best Kanafa place in Amman. The nerve! I first took her there. So, she mentioned to J (they are both J, you see) that she knows this place and I asked her how she knew it, and she had to admit that I told her about it. We were both laughing hysterically while he sat there confused. We went to get Kanafa and it started to rain. We stood under what shelter we could find and ate hot, sweet Kanafa. It was wonderful. Then W and I went to Safeway so he could buy groceries for the Thursday evening dinner.

The folks in my building have begun a Thursday dinner tradition that I enjoy, even though there are people there. So despite the fact that a boy was cooking, dinner was amazing. I did mentally apologize to him; the food was really outstanding. W cooked Mexican food, and somehow it all came together. We had fresh salsa and wonderful vegetarian fajitas. Yummy. It was an outstanding way to begin the weekend. Wonderful. I forgot to take a picture because I just stuffed my face. Trust me, it was good.

On Friday morning A and I took a taxi to Abdali. Determined to photograph some staircases, we had our cameras ready. Now if you look in the middle of the pictures from Google Earth you can see two of Amman's staircases. I walked up the first one about a month ago. I thought I was going to die, but I thought I was at the top, but then I saw that I was only half way! Yikes. Nevertheless Friday is without a doubt the best time to walk in Jordan. The city is abandoned, and we pretty much had the Balid to ourselves. We encountered cats and kids for the most part and slowly wandered our way into downtown. We grabbed some lunch. We were the only women I saw outside all day, but guess what, I don’t care anymore. A spent last summer in Irbid, so she seems thrilled to be in Amman. From downtown we walked up (I mean up, mofos) to Jebel Amman. Turns out that Wild Jordan is really close to Hasham, it’s just directly up. We walked up some stairs and found ourselves at the foot of the restaurant. We walked along a narrow street and saw many beautiful old houses. A has great pictures on her blog, some of which I stole. We spent a long time walking around and saw the Jordanian Communist Party headquarters, and the Jordan River Foundation, and I finally saw the Saudi Embassy. We walked to the second circle via back streets that took us by Fakhr al-Din, a great restaurant near the Iraqi Embassy in Jebel Amman. It was a great day.

On Sunday W and I ate at Al-Quds Restaurant in the Balid. Then we walked to the Roman Theater. I haven’t been there since the December before last. W studies Roman stuff, so he learned me a bit. So, lets see what I retained. The Theater in Amman and the Theater in Petra are both Roman, but they are built in the Greek style. The Greeks built their Theaters into existing hills, but the Romans build free-standing Theaters. So, these two here are unusual because they’re Roman, but Greek style. Also, they are Theaters, not Amphitheaters. A Theater is a semi-circle, and an Amphitheater is a full circle. The signs here are wrong, as are most of the tour books. W told me that the first decisive battle between the Muslims, who eventually conquered the Romans, was in Aqaba. The city of Aqaba surrendered to The Prophet directly. I already forgot how long it took the Muslim armies to finish off the Romans, but I remember thinking it was relatively quick. Do you think Mohammad declared “Mission Accomplished” after Aqaba fell? We headed back home after a day of being tourists and finished watching Twin Peaks, or as well call it Twin Beaks.

On Saturday there was a full lunar eclipse here in Jordan. I was out with A for the evening. We were driving around looking at the malls in Jordan. What a horror show. The moon became dark a little in one little chunk right around 11:30. He took me home so he could go pray. He told me that Muslims are a little freaked out about eclipses since they serve as a reminder about what the day of judgment might be like. W and I stood outside until 2 in the morning watching the moon and the mosques were blaring prayers for much of that time. We were on the roof watching the eclipse for a while, but I whined about the cold and we moved the nargila down into the parking lot. It was much brighter there, but we were largely out of the wind. Neither of us got great pictures. It was really cool, though. I don’t remember the last time I saw a total lunar eclipse.

So, I will have coffee with A in an hour and then I will see N tomorrow for dinner. Then, I’m heading to California for three weeks. Weird. I leave Jordan on my 6 month anniversary here. I’ll be back on April fools day, the day that The Confidence Man takes place.