Tuesday, August 2, 2011

From Aqaba to Zip's and everything in between

     I know I promised this blog like a week ago, but things tend to pop up unexpectedly every once and awhile here. While I may be a little late on this one, I sure do have a lot to talk about. Hopefully that will make up for my tardiness.
     It has been about a week since my trip to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba. I have had a lot of time to think about what I want to say about them. I'll start with Petra. You know the place where they shot the final scenes for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. On top of that it is also known as a wonder of the ancient world. Petra is about a four hour bus ride from Amman, but there are some pretty spectacular views on the way so the ride isn't too bad. Tickets to see Petra are normally like 50 JD or something close to that so it's a pretty expensive trip unless you happen to be a student studying Arabic at the CGE, then you get in for 1 JD. But I shouldn't forget to mention that the farther south and the lower the elevation, the hotter it gets. Petra is about a 2 km walk from the entrance to the end which really isn't that bad of a walk, but if you were to walk that far in an oven then it might get a tad difficult. This place was a truly spectacular sight. The walk to the Treasury was very similar to the Wadis I have been in. It had the high and narrow rock walls that were carved out by an ancient river. Now I should mention that Petra is a place I have dreamed of going to since I first saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and when I turned the corner to see that image of the Treasury, I was speechless, in utter awe and amazement from what I was seeing.

     I couldn't believe that I was there. I was now looking at something that I had dreamed of seeing. See this made me realize how startingly lucky I am. I mean I am only 19 years old and I'm getting to see a sight that most people have and never will see in person. Yet, for some reason I have been blessed with this. I really don't know why I am getting this oppurtunity, but I'm sure that God has a plan for me, and I hope in involves me getting to see more places like Petra.
     Now Wadi Rum was a place that I really had very little expectations about because outside of Jordan it's really not that well known around the world. Wadi Rum is about two hours farther south of Petra, so for those of you keeping score that is now six hours away from Amman, and it is still getting hotter. Wadi Rum really isn't a Wadi at all. It really is a 100 sq km National Park. It is really right in the middle of the southern  desert area of Jordan. This area is an absolutely breathtaking place. The rock formations and mountains seem to rise up out of nothing but sand. Then we were lucky enough to run into a Bedouin guy who was meeting up with some of his friends to drive th cars up this huge sand dune. So we stuck around for awhile and watched as they drove up and down this hill. It was kind of neat for awhile, but got boring until one ramped his car to pieces, but don't worry, he was fine.
     After awhile we decided to explore a little. And we happened to come upon a dune that was perfect for jumping down. Now it was really the most fun part of the weekend for me, not so much for Kirby who dropped his camera in the sand and it currently is not working. Needless to say he is quite upset.
     After that it was about time for the sun to set, and it was easily the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. The colors were so spectacular; the purples, reds, pinks, and oranges were some of the most vivid colors I could imagine. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the description of Wadi Rum for me.

     Now Aqaba... I really don't have anything too nice to say about it. I have been told that  there is a really nice part of Aqaba, but I surely didn't see it. The best way to describe it is like Panama City, except trashier, smellier, and more crowded. We arrived there at night so we had to just spend the night in a hotel, and thank God it was only for one night. This hotel was really awful. I'm sorry I wish there was a better way to describe it. I don't want to sound like I'm not thankful for having a bed to sleep on, but this place was terrible. Imagine a Motel 6, but smaller, hotter, dirtier, a few extra bugs, and a rock for a bed.
     Now I realize that I have failed to mention that we are all taking a relatively small tour bus on this whole trip so all of our activities are set up for us and one of them is to go to the beach, which is the only part of Aqaba I actually enjoyed.  The problem is we only could stay for like 45 minutes. The water there was amazing. It really was. I only wish we could have spent the whole day at the beach. So after the beach we piled back on the bus and went to the "Aquarium" or as I would refer to it, a small pool with a few fish in it and a guy with no shirt on smoking a cigerette in said pool talking about said fish in said pool. The guide book we had describing the aquarium said, "The Aqaba Aquarium had seen better decades." And I can say the guide book was right about that. Now we finally began the long trip back to Amman.
     Well, now will be my first cultural note of this trip and it's that Arabs don't come alive until about 10 pm at night or about two hours into a six hour drive... I can say that I personally could not recall a point where I had been more tired than I was at that point. After a weekend packed with walking miles in the sun, not getting any good sleep, and being packed in the sardine can of a bus, all I wanted to do was sleep, but I should've known better. This bus had a microphone system in it and they were taking full advantage of it. This included karaoke and stand-up comedy. All of which was in Arabic so I really could only pick up a few words here and there, not nearly enough to get jokes or understand the songs, but you know it wasn't too bad... Until about two hours away from Amman. An older lady on the bus started yelling at the bus attendant for the bus being so late. Now would this normally bother me? No, not at all. But her yelling didn't just last for a few minutes. No, she yelled for two straight hours! While most people found it pretty funny, Alex, Kirby, and I were on the brink of losing our minds. But we made it back alive... barely.
     Okay so now that the story of that trip is complete, I can move onto the next adventure I experienced. We went on a camping trip to Wadi Ka'rak. Wadi Ka'rak is about an hour south of Amman and right next to the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on Earth, and the rule about going south and lower elevation still applies. I went with Mr. Tiedemann, his son, Frederick, Kirby, and Alex (my German roommate). We drove down and set up the tents which, not surprisingly, we were unable to get up. Therefore we got to spend the night sleeping under the stars, which was really amazing. The stars were spectacular.
     When I awoke the next morning it was about 5:30 am. We had to get moving up the Wadi before it got too hot, but it was already too late for that because it's always hot near the Dead Sea. Once we got moving I seemed to cool down and it helped being in the Wadi because there was a pretty decent amount of shade. One thing that I found really remarkable was the amount of green everywhere. There were plants and trees growing all alongside the small stream that had long ago formed the entire Wadi. I should mention that this was by no means a walk in the park. It was about a six hour hike. About two hours into the hike we came upon a small opening/clearing in the Wadi that had two waterfalls. One was about 60 feet and had pretty hot water coming from it and the other, well, it was about 180 feet high and had freezing cold water. It was incredible. It was one of the most serene places I have ever seen. There was this great breeze that was blowing through the area and it was in that shade a really quite comfortable place. But we couldn't stay forever.

     The hike back to the campsite was pretty brutal. The shade we had abandoned us and we were at the mercy of the sun. The sun shows no mercy... ever.
     In other news Ramadan started yesterday and everything in Jordan is pretty much shut down and the places that aren't shut down everyone is grumpy and working at a snail's pace. But I guess that's what happens when you don't get to eat or drink anything while the sun is up. Kirby and I happen to understand this feeling first hand now because we are participating in Ramadan at least until one of us quits. We aren't participating for any religious reasons or anything like that, it's just to get a little more taste of the culture, and to see who is tougher. It really is a challenge, not eating all day has it's difficulties, but it is nothing compared to not drinking anything all day when it is 100 degrees outside. But as soon as the mosque starts playing at about 8 pm the streets are empty because everyone in the city is at home stuffing their faces with food until the early hours of the morning. And that is just what I plan to do.
     Well, as I have been typing this blog I am realizing that I am leaving so soon. 5 days and I'll be home. So I am not sure how I feel about that right now. I'm really torn about leaving this place. But I sure can't wait to get home and have a Zip's burger and a lot of bacon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On my mind...

     Let me warn you before you read this that I don't really have much to say. It has been a pretty uneventful week here, but I have a few things on my mind. So... here it goes.
     My time here in Jordan is on it's final leg, only a little more than two weeks are left in this experience. I have been doing a lot of thinking about my time here so far and how I have changed and grown. I have never felt more confident in myself. I feel like I can do anything that I set my mind to. I can overcome any challenge put in front of me as long as I say I can do it. I'm growing in the Lord. I am seeing such amazing things. The Christians here are so strong in their faith. It leaves me hoping that one day I too can understand what it is like to be so passionate for Him. Many of the believers here are people who converted from Islam, which under Sharia Law is illegal and punishable by death if one does not revert back to Islam. Luckily, here in Jordan, they are not under that law, but that doesn't mean it is an easy path to Christ. Converts bring shame to their families and in some cases that can mean honor killing. That is when a family member kills another to preserve the family name. If that doesn't happen to converts of Christ, they are often exiled from the family. Yet, their faith in Christ is still so strong and they seek with everything they have to understand his word and be closer to him. Even though many times they had to give up so much and even risk their own lives to do so. They are joyful and would do it again.
     I hope and pray that one day I will be able to have the strength to love the Lord the way the believers here do. I am realizing that as Christians in America our faith is very rarely put to the test or even questioned. What I mean by that is that we as Christians have faith, but do we understand our faith? I was asked by one of our teachers/guide/friend what does it mean to truly believe? Well, I had all the Sunday school answers memorized in my head and I could have pulled any of them out and he would have been satisfied with my answer, but I knew none of those would have really been the answer I wanted. So I couldn't give an answer to his question, but I pray I can someday give an answer that satisfies me.
     On a cultural note, religion is free game here. I know that in the States it is kind of off limits to talk about religion. Here though it's, "What is your name? What is your religion?" Then, in conversations with Christians, the next question is how did you come to your faith? The first few times this was really shocking to me, but at this point it is expected, but it could throw you off if you weren't prepared for it.
     Well, I have other news. There are now five people in our apartment here in Amman and it's been pretty nice to get to know my new roommates. One of them is named Jonas. He is Danish. The other is Alex and he is German. Both of them are nearly, if not fluent, in English so talking to them is really easy for Kirby and I. Saif has a hard time understanding the accents sometimes, but overall it is good.
     Now, I know I still have awhile before I come back home, but I am realizing that I don't think I want to go home. If you would have asked me last week, I might have packed up my bags right away, but now I don't want to leave. I think I could stay here another ten weeks. I know that my family and friends and girlfriend probably wouldn't like that, but it's true. In my last blog I talked about drowning in the cultural sea. I am doing things without having to think about the little details. I can truly relax now. I am not stressed out. I'm so comfortable here. Not to mention I have hit my groove in Arabic now. It's all clicking and I am picking it up faster than ever and I'm loving every second of my time here. Things that used to be a big deal, like ordering from a restaurant that had no English, is easy now. It's nothing now. I have said that I was falling in love with this culture, but now I can say without a doubt that I am in love with this culture and it's people. I feel at home. I don't want to leave.
     But I am torn because I do miss so much about home. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss my girlfriend. Not to mention how bad I want some bacon. I just don't know what I want. It's a weird feeling being so torn between two places and cultures when you love them both so much. I want to go home, but I don't. I wish I could explain how I am feeling better, but I don't know what to say. I love it here and I love it there.
     I know that this blog was a little short and jumped around a few topics, but it's been a pretty quiet week here for me so I don't have any great stories to tell, but this weekend we are going to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aquaba so I can promise I'll have some great stories from those places and I'll have another blog up really soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lost in the Cultural Sea... But I'm enjoying the view

     Well, it has been way too long since my last blog. To say I have been extremely busy would be a major understatement though. I have a ton to write about so I will start with my vacation to Sherm-El-Shiek. Let's just say Sherm-El-Shiek may be one of the best places to vacation on the planet. It was Florida on steroids. I stayed at an all exclusive resort right on the Red Sea. I wish I was a good enough writer to explain this place, but I just don't have the skills needed to give a great idea of what Sherm-El-Shiek is. All I can say is that I was jealous of myself. I got a chance to use my underwater camera and it worked perfectly. I got some amazing pictures of the fish in the Red Sea and a few of the sunset over the Sinai Mountains. There are some on Facebook, but I will try to post them if I can. The food at this place was so great. I mean, I ate some awesome food. They had every type of food you could imagine. I ate a lot in my four days there. On one of those days I got to go ATV riding out in the desert. It was pretty awesome. We got to ride around some of the mountains. We saw a few camels too, but unfortunately I didn't get to ride one. Other than that, I didn't do much. I just laid out on the beach and by the pool.
     Once I got back from the trip is when the stress and busyness really piled on. There has been so much new stuff about Arabic that has been thrown on me in a really short amount of time. It has been tough on me because I do struggle when it comes to learning all the grammar rules. I mean, heck, I have a hard time remembering all the English grammar rules. Really though, I have been able to handle the new information pretty well. Also, I have had much more homework than usual and I have had a few tests and I still have a few more to go. I have been studying for all of those, but all of that hasn't been too bad I guess. It does get stressful though.
     The culture stress has been really rough as well. It just has been hard for me to get into any kind of groove here because I have to think about everything. I mean, even with a small walk to school and back I have to dodge traffic while I cross a major road. I have been nearly hit by a school bus twice. Not to mention, I was almost trampled by a herd of goats coming down the street. The washing machine is one of the most awful things one could experience and I can't flush toilet paper down the toilet. Honestly, at times, I just want to go home. There are times where I just want to be done here and get back home and watch a Red's game, eat a good cheeseburger, and just zone out for a few hours. Those feelings come in waves though and are really pretty brief. Maybe a day or two at most because I do love it here, it's just a major readjustment that takes a lot out of me. I want to be here. I want to learn this language and I want to know the people because the people here are special.
     I really do love the Arab people, buy I still don't understand them. What I mean is that a lot of their actions still just confuse me beyond belief, but seems perfectly normal to them and I just can't figure it out. I don't really want to go into much detail about specific events that have occurred because I am worried that it would sound like I am really stereotyping all Arabs and I don't want to do that because it very well could have been the situations.\ that I was in and not true for all situations. But they mostly involve a passion for eating peanuts, sitting on steps, and watching fountains for multiple hours. I want to make it very clear that I love the people here. They really are some of the most generous people I have ever met. I just don't understand them, that's all. On the same note, I am finding a major challenge is that generosity that makes the people here so amazing. They are generous to the point that I feel bad they are trying so hard to make me happy. I am a pretty simple guy when it comes to being happy. I don't need to be served and waited on 24/7 to be happy. What do you do though when it's a culture that makes it shameful for them to not treat you like that. Well, for awhile it's easy to grin and bear it. You don't really have much of a choice. I am here for ten weeks and I can only do that for so long. I am still working on an answer on that and I really don't know how to solve this. I'll give a quick example. Kirby and I went to some coffee shop that we had never been to before and we just wanted to give it a try. We asked if they had any food and we were told that they did. They had burgers, salad, chicken, and a few other things so we ordered two burgers. Well, 45 minutes later we saw one of the employees walk in with a carry-out bag. They went out and got us burgers. They didn't serve food there, they just didn't want to tell us no. The thing was we didn't want to wait 45 minutes to get two burgers that came from a place not far from our apartment and that we had been before. So getting us food, while it was very kind and generous action, it wasn't what we really wanted or needed. It's really hard to battle misplaced kindness and generosity. I mean it would have been easier for both of us if he just would have said, "No, we don't have any food." He really just couldn't say no and bring shame on his shop. Hopefully, by the end of this I'll have an answer for you and me.
     I may be lost here at time, but the last thing I want is to sound like I don't like it here. I truly do love it here, but I do get homesick at times. Like I said, it passes pretty quickly. This place is quickly becoming a home to me and I am falling in love with this culture. I feel like I am on a small island of me and the water is slowly taking over the island and I can't stop it. I don't think I want to though because I am getting closer and closer to the people and the culture of this place. Maybe drowning in it isn't a bad thing.
     So I got a little off track from what I wanted to write about, but it just kind of happened so it's all good. Well, I know I should say more, but I need to study. I have a big exam coming up so that's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I was given a fish, peed on, and danced... Just another day in Amman

     Well, I can assume from the title that you must realize I have had a very, very, very interesting last few days here in Jordan. But before I get into the story of the last few days I have a bit of a social commentary that I feel I need to get out there.
Over the last three weeks here I have noticed a very negative attitude from the Jordanians and I know that may sound odd since they are really known for how nice they are. Though the key is that it is not me that the negative feelings are being aimed at, it's other Arabs. In particular, or at least in my experience, it is aimed at the Egyptians living here in Jordan. And yes I know some people might read that and ask, “How can they even tell them apart?” It is very simple. It’s that the Egyptians speak a different dialect and have a very different accent. But if you ask some Jordanians they will tell you they just “know who is different.”
I have been pondering this for a while now and I was finally given an answer that has satisfied me. It’s a superiority thing. All Arabs think that they are better than Arabs from other places. It is by no means a racist thing. I mean, it real can't be, they all consider themselves to be Arab. The best way I can describe it is kind of the way Americans think they are better than Canadians. I mean we Americans have no reason to think we are better, we just do. And in the same way as any American will listen to CĂ©line Dion sing and enjoy it and not care that she’s Canadian, Jordanians do the same. I mean most of the media is Egyptian and the top rated soap opera in Amman in an Egyptian one. So I found that it is not hatred or dislikes of Egyptians, Jordanians just think that they are better; it’s a cultural thing. I hope that that makes sense. I don’t want to come off as Jordanians are unkind people. They are amazing. It’s just part of Arabic culture.
So now to get on to my adventures over the last few days. You see, I put my social commentary first so you would have to read it to get to the story and I knew the title would hook you in. After one of my Arabic classes Kirby, Laura, and I went to our favorite restaurant to get something to eat before class. It’s this really good Yemeni place that mainly serves Arabic bread and things to eat with said bread; it is amazing and you really need to try it sometime. So as we sat there and at our table with our food, a man at the table near us started talking to us. We could catch a few words of what he was saying and what we believed he asked us was, “Do you like fish?” We responded with “naam,” which means yes. Well, he then proceeded to give us his fish. Now, I am not talking about like a fillet of fish from Outback or Red Lobster I mean a whole fish... head and all. As you could guess we were quite surprised by this but very appreciative. It was just one more sign of how amazing the place and culture is here.
Now to the part I am sure you really want to hear about... the peed on part of the title. Not my favorite story at the moment, but it could have been worse. So at noon I woke up, which is extremely early here on Friday, and Saif, Kirby, Jeremy, Peter, and I went swimming. And to remind those of you who don’t know Saif, Saif is my roommate from Iraq, Jeremy is a teacher at CGE and Peter is from the UK here studying Arabic at a different school. Also, Peter's Arabic is really good because he spent two years at Edinburgh and spent the last year in Syria studying. So the pool, or as it is now here the water park, was really interesting to say the least. We all had to pay 6JD, which is a little less than 9USD, to get in and when we walked in everyone was getting out of the pool. Now this was not a big pool maybe twice the size of a normal home swimming pool, but there were, well, A LOT of people in there but all getting out. Why? Well, the pool had to close for at least a half hour for the call to pray which is tough to miss because it is right next to a mosque and the loudspeakers. So when we finally got in the pool we learned very quickly the water was very cold, not like kind of cold, I mean ice cold. But soon I was swimming around and I found out nearly as fast as I learned how cold the water was that they don’t get many foreigners at this pool. I met a whole lot of people who wanted to talk to me in both Arabic and broken English, so that was a really neat thing.
     But after about an hour in the pool I made my way to the side to talk to Saif and there it happened. I saw a small stream coming in to the pool and I looked up and there looking right at me a tiny little boy, maybe 3 years old peeing on me…  while I was in the pool… not a great moment. So I quickly swam away as soon as I realized what was going on and of course everybody got a huge laugh out if other than me, but now think about it, it must have been pretty darn funny to see. But I guess the kid couldn’t have now better because he was so little and the word for bathroom and pool are the same word, “Hammom.” I could see how a child could get confused. I just wish he would not have gotten confused with me in his “line of fire.”
     Now for the cool part, as Kirby, Saif and I walked back from Jeremy’s back to our apartment we noticed a big commotion right up the street from our house so we went to see what it was. It turned out to be a graduation party and it was really neat to see everybody dancing in some kind of line dance where they all hold hands and go around in a circle and there some feet movements and what not. I was cool to watch, but then they noticed us and a few of them ran over and grabbed me and Kirby by the arms, Saif declined to go with them, and took us to the dancing line. So of course all of the Arabs got a kick out of watching us try to dance, but in that moment I realized that this is one of "those things." That is why I am here: to experience things like this. I cannot put in to words how awesome of a thing this was for me and I can promise I will never forget it. It was just another day here in Amman, Jordan.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The lowest point on Earth, the highest point of my emotions

     The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and the saltiest sea in the world (10x saltier than the oceans to be exact) and I was there. I got to swim in the Dead Sea. How awesome is that? It’s pretty awesome. The feeling of the water is so indescribable. It is similar to swimming in like baby oil, but in a good way. I really can’t describe it. It is just something you have to experience for yourself. One piece of advice I can give is to make sure that no matter what you do, do not ever get that water in your eyes… it might just be one of the most painful things one can endure. Also, the water tastes really bad so don’t get it in your mouth either. Another really weird experience that came out of the water at the Dead Sea was that it got in my ears and was, well, really odd. I felt like my ears were, well, popping and like bubbling. I know how weird that may sound but that’s what was happening.
     After that we went to a wadi. Wadis are like little rivers or creeks that lead to the Dead Sea. The only difference between a wadi and a creek are the wadis run though massive canyons. We went to Wada Mujib which I was told is the 2nd most well known in the area next to Wadi Rum. The only way to describe Mujib is BREATHTAKING in every sense of the word. It was an amazing hike up the creek until we came to the first rapid. There was a small water fall only like 12 feet high and we had one rope and seven people. It was pretty dangerous, but it was no big deal for a master hiker like me, cough cough. Let’s just say it was a tad bit of a struggle for me, but it was definitely worth it.
My classes have been going pretty well. My spoken class is great and I really think I am picking it up pretty well. Classical on the other hand is a whole different ballgame. Kirby and Laura are picking it up really quick, I mean they are leaving me in the dust with classical. But I feel like I am doing really well with spoken and that’s a good thing, but I am learning so much about the language and the cultures of this place; I love it. I miss everyone back home so much, but I don’t want to leave this place yet. I just can’t. I feel like the culture is pulling me in and it won’t let go and you know I don’t want it to, not yet at least.  I know, I know, I should have much more to say, but hey I'm a very busy person. I am thinking maybe more posts, but shorter in length. Oh well, I don’t know, but I am loving life here and I only wish everyone I know could be here with me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Week One

     As I sit here thinking about my first week in Amman, I have so many great thoughts about this amazing place. Also, I know I was going to try to post something everyday, but with my studies I have found that that is going to be impossible. I am hoping it will be more like two or three times a week. So back to my experiences here. I attended my first Arabic church service. I had a little headset thing that was playing a translated version so I could understand and I am once again reminded of how startlingly different Christian churches are around the world. I was told that this was the biggest Christian church in Jordan. So, I being from a relatively small Christian church in the states, I'm thinking this is going to be one those "super churches" with thousands of worshippers. However, I couldn't have been more wrong. It was a small, two or three room church, with maybe 75 people and that's being generous. It was probably closer to 55. Even though they were a very small church and I could understand maybe half of what the translator said, the power in that room was amazing; it nearly brought me to tears. Just knowing that a few hours to the North, South, or East they could be killed for what they are doing...
     In stark contrast to the small Christian church I had visited earlier, I went to see the King-Hussein Mosque. This place was HUGE in every sense of the word. It was made completely of marble and was a spectacular sight to see. While I was not there during the service, I was able to look around the whole building - which took about a half hour - except for the prayer room because that is reserved for Muslim men. Speaking of that, Laura was not even allowed in the mosque because she was not covered from head to toe. This was something that gave me a reality check because this place is at times so westernized that you can forget you are in an Islamic country with very strict rules.
     Oh, I went to my first Jordanian home a few days ago which was just like everyone said it would be. While they didn't serve dinner due to how late it was, they had snacks, tea, more tea, more snacks oh more tea, more snacks, and more tea. They just keep coming and when you say, "No thanks, I'm full," they bring you more. I left thinking I could never want food again, but it was a tremendous experience.
     In other news, I started my first Arabic classes. By the way, it is SO hard. My teacher, Dr. Ramadan is a great teacher; he has a P.H.D. in teaching Arabic. We got through the alphabet and some greetings in Fhusa, or classical Arabic, and we start spoken Arabic on Monday. For those who don't know, which is probably most people, Fhusa is what they speak on the news and in the newspaper and about 65% of Arabs understand it. While spoken, or ammea, is different for each region of the Middle East and other Arabic speaking countries. So Fhusa is a lingua fraca amongst the well-educated Arabs because someone from Jordan and someone from Saudi Arabia would not be able to understand each other very well because they both speak their ammea Arabic.
     As far as food goes, I had some killer humus and zambusik and of course I ate too much shrawma. But, I tried one thing that stands out among the rest because of the hype that surrounded it and then it had an utter fall from grace in my eyes: TURKISH COFFEE. I was looking forward to that Turkish coffee, but it tasted like hot dirt water. It was so bad. I don't know if it was just the place where I got it or what, but it was terrible. So unless you like dirt, I would not recommend Turkish coffee.
     So what are my plans for the weekend? Well, I am going to Wadi Mujib, basically the Arabic Grand Canyon, and the Dead Sea. It should be pretty awesome and I am really looking forward to it. There will be many pictures, I promise. I will try to have another blog up soon. Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day Three

Today was really eventful. I got to go see the Ruins at Citadel and they were amazing. I didn't know what to expect when I got there, but it was truly breathtaking in every sense of the word. You could feel the history in this place and for me that is one of the greatest things you can experience. That place had been home to so many different types of people. I mean it was the Roman city of Philadelphia. A massive statue to Hercules was built at this place. The museum that was there so different than any type of museum that you could ever imagine. This place held artifacts from the time of Moses all the way through the rise of Islam. That's a few thousand years of history in one small building. I took over a hundred pictures and I wish I would have taken more. The images of the old ruins are like nothing I have ever seen before. The view of the city from the ruins is something that I cannot put into words; the pictures I take don't do it justice. The city sits on seven hills, but the Citadel was built on a hill in the center of Amman, or Philadelphia, whichever you prefer. WOW! I don't know what else to say. I was at the ancient ruins of the Roman Empire. What else do I need to say? Also, I know this blog is a pretty short one, but it's late here and I have my first classes tomorrow. Plus, I didn't eat anything too interesting today. I mean, I did have some really good shwarma, but not much more than that.