Friday, January 28, 2011

End of Prologue

Yesterday I earned a new achievement badge in AL-URDUN: the Semester. I leveled my character up to the Competent Proficiency at my internship. I am pretty happy about that. The whole not being utterly useless thing is a good feeling, and I’m getting something of an idea what Fr Nabil wants. He’s seeing more and more of what I’m good at, and letting me do more of that.

But yeah, I got back a copy of the press release that I had drafted and there was exactly one change. It was a pretty gorram rad realization that I had managed to write that sort of media statement mostly competently after having seen one vaguely-equivalent example in all of my life. I also got to design and put together the English language program for Harmony: Jordan as a Model (our Event). Funny enough I learned what day and when it was going to be while I was actually putting the program together, but I think that’s how things work in Jordan. Two drafts in Prince Ghazi called and said he was coming, but that we should change the time. So we did, and I added parts about “HRH Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed’s Arrival” to the program. Plans here just change and shift around and migrate until they are actually happening. And half the people will still be late anyway. It is just how Jordan works.

Dude. They have kings and stuff. This dude grew up thinking of himself as royalty. Holy schnitzels.

And I got told that not only was I allowed to come but that if I could get out of class, I was supposed to. I think I will be able to get off class, but I will need to find a way to get myself down there, the event being at the Jordan River at the site of Jesus’ baptism and all. It seems likely I can bum a ride with Fr Nabil or Woroud, but things shift around like crazy here so I’m a lil’ stressed about if it’ll work out. Also, he invited the whole group to attend, though I think he realizes anyone else coming is unlikely. Also I wrote Fr Nabil’s English speech. Changes were made, but I get the last edit before Fr Nabil himself so that makes me pretty happy.

After I was done I walked home via Safeway, where I bought some notebooks, a sketch pad, some headphones, and Twix. I went with the purpose of breaking my otherwise-unspendable 50 JD bill and getting some taxi fares. I succeeded at the breaking of the bill. But I miscalculated the tax and ended up with no ones. So I still had no taxi fare. I’d had to borrow a one from Eric to get to the internship that morning. So I went to the Safeway. But nope, I still had no ones of my own. I'm a lil' derpy.

The walk back took an hour and twenty minutes, so I got to see a lot of the city. It has a lot of dry desolate beauty about it, but also a weird lushness. And the King Hussein Mosque, even if it’s done in a 70’s architectural style, is gorgeous.

I got to Arabic later than I wanted to, only fifty minutes before class. I HAD been planning to use the lightning-fast internet there but couldn’t get on. Bill was full of frustration, and I punched a hole in the wall. Okay I didn’t do that.

And that brings us to TODAY! BAM I am now officially caught up! The original plan was to sleep ‘til 11 but I woke up irrevocably at 8:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep, despite closed blinds and total darkness. So I did the only thing a responsible person would do. I read webcomics, stalked through facebook, and discovered the stats page of my blog now that I have admin privileges. So. Tell anyone and everyone who you think might like reading my rambling to read this, okay?

Eric and I actually got up out of bed at 11:30 and dressed. And after that we went to Reem (the excellent food stand), where we truly had a sabaH ash-shawaarma. It was excellent. We walked home through desolate semi-developed Amman. After that the whole program group met up at Mukhtar mall and went through the ordeal of finding and fitting into as few taxis as possible to drive halfway across the city. Or three blocks. Whatever.

We went to Asma, the housing co-ordinator’s, father’s house. We ate this delicious Palestinian chicken, pita, nut, and onion dish and overstuffed ourselves. After that they brought out the overwhelmingly sweet dessert. Three of the group physically exploded after eating that. After that they brought out the tea, which lost us another two. Then came the dessert-like fruit salad. Simon popped after eating that, splattering Simon-parts everywhere. Then came the coffee, which caused the explosion of everybody but Bruce.

After that we went to explore sports city and failed to find a gym. Nuts to that though, I was exhausted. So I came home and ate delicious food, and watched the News about the Revolutionary Semester.

It’s inneresting. When Tunisia revolted it happened so fast, and everyone just accepted it. The President/Dictator guy had fled to Saudi Arabia, and that was that. I’ve heard it said the situation has calmed down there now, and reports coming from people’s friends in the country said things like “it’s safe, it’s calmed down, and it’s good. Except the old government is hiring street gangs to go across the city to other neighborhoods and create destruction and chaos. They are trying to make it look like without the government things fell apart, but except for the government’s hired thugs, there is no chaos.”

And in Algeria people were quick to accept the irrevocably of the revolution too. Then when Beirut started acting up people all said “It’s the same, I just hope the extremists and the religious extremists don’t come to power anywhere because of this. The governments were bad, but the extremists are worse.”

No one accepted it in Egypt though. At first it was just said that it was the residue of the Christmas attack on the Copts, but Egypt was unified. It was just a more stable Iraq. Then it was that Mubarak had a better secret police. Then he had a better army. And then there were too many people in Egypt. Finally with the scale of riots now, people are starting to think that maybe there’s a chance of revolution. Add in Yemen, and it could be a hell of a revolutionary semester.

More to come. Stay tuned. Yalla-bye!

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