Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I was eating a LION bar. It is made by an American company for an Arab audience. It was delicious. I didn’t do much there at the ol’ internship but at least I did something. I arranged for Fr N to attend a C-1 conference in Kiev next month, but that’s all. I walked to Arabic and ate some chips and other delicious food. And drank about ten cups of tea. Not much new there.

That night we ate Spinach and meat cooked together and served over rice in a way that made it awesome and delicious in a way spinach never is. Eric and I went and lay down on our respective beds in our room when our host ma Ghada came in and said.
“We going now. My husband he does not sleep here tonight. So. You bring over your girl-friends. You bring over everyone and have big party. Right? Just make sure the house does not burn down.”
We all burst out laughing. Girlfriend-less and party-supply-less I shoot a look of “we have the funniest host mom ever” over at Eric, but when I look back Ghada is giving us her “No, seriously” expression. It’s the same look she gave us when she told us she was going to take us to buy whiskey during the first week, but then actually took us and bought whiskey. We’ve seen it a few times since then, so when she left we just sat there kind of flummoxed.

A few minutes later I was eating a slice of chocolate cake that Ghada had left with us and Eric was texting people to see who wanted to come try and have a shindig. The cake was pretty good. Not too dry and not to moist, but that sort of monotonous monotextural cake that you always have just-too-much of a piece of We were discussing what to do, we had a few drinks around and no access to much of anything. We wanted to try and watch a movie, but that wasn’t very practical because we’d no DVD player.
It turns out that the only one who could make it was Tyler. Eric, Simon and I are all okay with just the four of us, so he heads over and the el-ballad boys assembled. What did we end up doing? Wait, Eric—you got a season on The Boondocks on your computer, right? Yeah. So? Ohhhh…
We walked out to el-gardens street where one of my compatriots got some gin, another got some absinthe, and I got soda.
Oh come on. What?
So we returned and stayed up until three in the morning, sitting around and sipping and watching The Boondocks and talking about life and playing my banjoud. It was severely excellent.
Tyler crashes at our place and the next morning we all wake up at nine thirty or so. At ten we are about so start making food when Abeer arrives with a whole slew of hot xubaz, falafel, fuul, and hummus.

We feasted like kings that happened to be eating xubaz, falafel, fuul, and hummus. Xubaz is merely area pita bread. Falafel is fried mashed chickpeas. Fuul is spicy mashed beans with oil and seasoning. Hummus is hummus, but better than American hummus and with some spices and oil in. And then we trudged to Sports city in the morning light. At eleven-thirty we met with the Russians, the Americans, Japanese, and the Aussie and played messin’-round soccer for two hours.
It was fun. Well I can’t say it was fun for everyone. It may have been frustrating if you do not know how to play soccer.
I thought it was fun.
After that we started heading back home for lunch when Ivann and Toshi invite us all up for pancakes. Their apartment was down several back streets near our Arabic class, on the top floor of a building on a hill. From their balcony you had the most gorgeous panoramic view of Amman. We accepted and sit around with them, Valenteen and Rob, eating pancakes, talking about where we’re all from, and everything, and reenacting World War II.
So many pancakes. Delicious, delicious pancakes.

That night we’re sitting in the Cantaloupe Gastro-pub and Eric and I were splitting a plate of fried cheese-stick-things. They were delicious and just a touch greasy and fried to crunchy breaded perfection. Everybody had drinks and there’s happy chatter. We’d met up with a few more Earlham people and were going to meet with the folks from pancakes and soccer, but only Rob came. Chatter went on into the night, but I got lost in my corner thinking about what it must have been like to be there when the Germanic branch of Indo-European split off from the rest of the languages and the “P’s” started shifting to “F’s.” Some other things also happened in that linguistic split, but none of them are so ready as “pater-pisces-porcus” becoming “father-fishes-fearch.”

The next day I was nomming a hot lamb-pepper-onion-sauce-full shawaarma or two after class and when I met up with Eric. Then, for the first time in months we went and messed around on a newly-discovered basketball hoop. We went back two days later and when he grabbed rim he tore the hoop half off. But it is still playable.

It was a swell while.

Next week I will be updating very sporadically, as it will be spring break and I will be on camels.

Bashuukkum, yall.

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