Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Eclipses and Robberies

I have only two months left in Jordan. Although it seems like I’ve been here forever, I can hardly believe that it’s almost over! Well, during these next two months, I’m going to try something new for my blog. Every couple of weeks (inshallah), I will write about a specific subject to Jordan and the Middle East, such as marriage or local ideas about Saddam Hussein, for example. The next bi-week topic will be homosexuality, and I’ll post it early next week. I know that Dsome Rof Ayou Pare Enterested Rin that topic. For now, my life...the highlights.

1. There was a total solar eclipse that passed very close to Jordan, and it was awesome! Really, I was very impressed. Perhaps more interesting, however, were the Jordanians' reactions. For example, all of the non-university schools were cancelled out of fear that the children might look at the sun when they walked home from classes. At the time, I just assumed that they were looking for an excuse to cancel school. But, lo and behold, they made up the day on Saturday! There was this crazy perception that the sunlight from the eclipse was somehow more dangerous than sunlight at anytime. At one point, I was glancing at the eclipse and some guy shouted with panic, “Don’t look at the sun!” I asked my Egyptian doorman if he saw the eclipse. Nope. He informed me that he shut himself in his room and locked his door, out of fear of the sun’s rays. What?! Yet despite all this fear and unwarranted concern, no one seemed to be taking advantage of the situation economically. Do you guys remember those “look at the eclipse” glasses in the U.S.? You would think those will be flooding the streets!

2. A terrible two days, days which made it painfully clear that I am not living in my home country. Some of problems included…

- The shower running out of water, while I was in it.

- My bed broke, for some reason. It’s already so shitty, fixing is probably impossible.

- Two nights ago, I had my worst experience in the Middle East. Considering that I’ve now lived here for a total of a year, I guess I can’t complain too much. I was robbed...while I was in the house. Okay, that sounds much worse than the theft actually played out. Rather, it was one of the weirdest and most mysterious situations I can recall in my life. While I was taking a shower, someone (somehow) reached into the window of my room and stole my cell phone, wallet, and a card of cell phone credit from my desk, which is near the window. They must have used a stick or something. Admittedly, I wasn’t the smartest in the whole thing, but I didn’t think that locking my window from the inside was all that necessary. That night, I literally spent 2 hours looking for my phone, and I went to bed convinced that either Will was playing a late April Fool’s joke on me or that I accidentally flushed it down the toilet. The next morning, when I realized that my wallet was gone as well, I knew what happened. Probably the craziest thing is that someone must have been watching me to know that I went to the shower. Otherwise, Will or I would have heard the noise. Uhh. The hassle has been significant, especially cancelling cards and trying to obtain new ones. All told, the thief jacked my cell phone, over $100, my university ID, MI Driver’s Lisence, Jordanian residency card, local bank card, US bank card, and a Visa card. Quite the snag! I have tried to maintain a positive attitude about it all, although it has made me a bit colder to the culture, something which I am already overcoming. Even though crime in Jordan is very, very low, Will and I are learning that we still need to be careful.

So that’s that. Early next week, I’ll give that post about homosexuality. Check! I miss you guys.

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