Monday, June 20, 2011

After some big weekends, things have been pretty mellow here in Amman. It has given me time to appreciate some of the smaller things in Jordan. For example:

I enjoy seeing Jordanian attempts to translate. All over town there are mistakes: "dentaal" for "dental;" "saloon" for "salon;" etc. I saw a Spongebob shirt that you "You will always be in my hearth." It's charming, really. I especially like the slogan they have printed on their fruit cans...

Tourist: Best without taste.

What is that supposed to mean?

Living alone, I have the privilege to make a short walk through town to meet up with my American friends. As I left my apartment recently, I encountered a mass exodus...from one field to the other...

It is truly amazing how these goats stay together. It was fun to see them pleasantly walking on the sidewalk, side by side. This is a common occurrence on my street, and it makes me smile every time.

We live near an area called Jabal Hussein: a hip part of the area with modern shops and restaurants. Vendors line the sidewalks with their crafts and ripped-off items. In Amman, you have the luxury of looking high class at a low price. For example, why buy the expensive Hugo Boss, Polo, or Eternity cologne when you can buy Hogo Boos, Pulo, or Externity? Or why buy Nike socks when you can buy cheap socks with the logo printed on them? I took advantage of this principle and bought myself some workout clothes...

The picture may be blurry due to the pure magic of the outfit. These are the most comfortable shorts I've ever owned, complimented by my new adidos muscle shirt. Adidos is even better than Adidas because instead of three stripes you get four.

I have been learning to appreciate art this past week. Some of us went to the Jordanian National Gallery of Art near our home. Having been to some art galleries in DC, I wasn't super excited. Not that I hate art. I just don't understand it. I understand that art is a visual expression of an artists inner feelings, but the meaning gets lost in translation for me. I mean, can someone please explain this painting to me?

Great colors. I even like how it is off-center and super simple. But why is it in a national gallery of art? Abstract art is something I simply do not understand.

I actually liked this painting...

But my favorite was probably this one:

I enjoyed the colors and the scene that it painted in my mind. I could almost smell the fruit from the orchard. And the three tall trees in the middle were a good contrast to the rest of it. I enjoy art. I just would like to understand it.

There happens to be a film festival this week. We've been to two films. The first was called "Of God and Men," a story about a group of Catholic monks living at a monastery in Algeria. Although the town is being attacked by terrorists, the monks refuse to leave because they have become so attached to the community around them. It was touching to see the bond that the monks made with the Muslim community.

Last night we saw a short documentary about finding humor in the West Bank. It was refreshing to see people retain their humor among such controversy in that part of the world. Just watching Palestinian school girls make jokes and laugh was very tender. Truly. Not only was the documentary great, but the setting of the film was incredible. We were near Rainbow Street, the hippest part of Amman, watching the film on an outdoor screen on a hill overlooking the rest of Amman. To my left was the Citadel (the site of Roman ruins) that was lit with yellow lights. To my right lights shimmered from the homes and stores on a flowing hill. The temperature was, like most nights, perfect. I took a minute to ponder and really recognize where I am in the world.

What an experience this is.


Tyler, Brooke, Britain and Braden said...

Brady, Ty and I sat and read this and laughed so really do have a way with words and I LOVE that you are documenting all the details of your trip, you will be SOOO glad you did! The fruit jar saying is hilarious...what the heck? I think you are very lucky to have this experience to talk about the rest of your life so just keep enjoying the positive and fun things about it! Love ya!

Barrett Family said...

I LOVE that in the hip part of the area with modern shops and restaurants there is a mass exodus of goats. I'd be interested to see the poor side of town :-)! Love the adidos outfit. Can't wait for a sweet souvenir.