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Holy Shit, I'm in the Middle East

by - 3:05 PM

Well today I had my first, "holy shit I'm in the Middle East" moment. As you [hopefully] know, there have been demonstrations, attacks, and protests across the Middle East in response to the American anti-Islam film, "Innocence of Muslims". My day consisted of a taxi ride where the driver asked where I was from and proceeded by flat out saying "I hate Americans," [Arabs tend to be rather blunt], and later a ride around Amman with my host brother and sister where we were followed by 15 Jordanian army trucks with sirens. Of course the fact that they had sirens on is insignificant because not a single car pulled over, thought about pulling over, or attempted to pull over. My law-abiding American self was having trouble fathoming this situation. Just a demonstration, nbd.

Now to rewind and recap the past week:

Started classes at the University: learned how to order coffee without sounding like a complete tourist, and to avoid using the bathroom on campus at all costs [a whole in the ground is an understatement]. 

Went to my first Arab wedding! [aka a fashion show where moms scope out wives for their sons]

Don't let the abbiyas fool you, there are some New-York fashion-week-status dresses under there.

Learned how to ride a taxi in Jordan: Sit in the back and stare out the window in order to avoid unwanted flirtation or possible marriage proposals. Also learned that it is completely normal for your driver to pull over en route, yell something at a guy standing on the curb, and leave with cigarettes and coffee in hand. 

Got to experience Jordan beating Australia in futbol! Which basically entails 30 people gathering around one tv while eating copious amounts of food and simultaneously listening to the Muslim call to prayer. After the game's over, everyone gets in their cars, grabs their Jordanian flags, and drives through the medina, blasting music and honking horns.

It's ok, I know...National Geographic wants me.

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