Sunday, June 28, 2009

Floating Without a Microwave

I came to the realization this morning that I'm going to be eating a lot more cold food than I normally do. I will also be mixing food more often than usual. This is because I don't have a microwave. It's not the end of the world to be sure, but microwaves sure are convenient, especially if you like warm food as I do. I warmed up my lunch today over the stove!! For a moment, I felt like I was back in time, living a rustic life in a cabin. Well, this 'cabin' has satellite television so scratch that. It's obviously the 21st century and I just don't have a microwave. I don't even know how to make microwave popcorn without a microwave. Come to think of it, what is that microwave popcorn doing in our cupboard?

Over the weekend I took a trip to the Dead Sea with two American students, Ariana and Mike, that I met at the University of Jordan. The whole trip was absolutely amazing. And the Dead Sea is only 45 minutes away. The only downside was that any small cuts I had hurt A LOT once I took a dip in the Dead Sea, which is 30% salt, five times more salt than any other sea. I'm pretty sure this is the only body of water on earth where it is physically impossible to drown. Trying not to float actually takes effort; whenever I would put my legs straight down into the water, they would just float up so I landed on my back or stomach.

Normally, when I'm swimming in a river, the ocean, etc. I get anxious because I have a fear of seaweed and water dwelling critters brushing up against my legs. You know how jumpy I am! My anxiety quickly dissipated when I remember that the Dead Sea gets it name because it is so salty it can't sustain life. There wasn't even any seaweed, just rocks. It's kind of hard to describe what being in the Dead Sea is like, but if you put a couple pounds of salt in your bathtub and filled it up with lukewarm water it might give you a pretty good idea. It feels like your covered in baby oil and apparently it's really good for you. People have been coming to the Dead Sea for over two thousand years to cure skin conditions.

One of the highlights was indulging in a green mud pack, and watching all kinds of people slather on the green mud. There is something especially amusing about seeing men of all ages happily spread this green mud all over themselves, boasting about how good it is for you. It has been my experience that men don't get all excited about the prospect of putting on a face mask or going to the spa to soak in a specially formulated salt and mineral filled bath to soothe their muscles and cure any skin ailment.

Another thing that gave me a giggle was when I looked at the nametag of the man who helped us with our luggage upon arrival. Jihad. No joke, this guys name is Jihad. Now Jihad doesn't really mean 'let's go wage war on all of the heathen westerners' like a lot of people think. My understanding is that it's a more personal struggle; overcoming temptation, having a good heart, etc. But still, I'm pretty sure that there are many Jihad's in the US who have since acquired an American name like Jimmy, Jay, etc.


  1. The Dead Sea experience sounds great - and thats interesting meeting a fellow named Jihad. I always hate when terms with beautiful meanings are used for evil deeds, but at the end of the day, we control how we perceive and use it. And sunnyside of not having a microwave - it's a lot healthier to heat your food with a stove!

  2. That's the definition of Jihad I've heard too. I guess some people just construe jihad to mean that they are personally struggeling against something other than their own temptations or faults (like... people who don't agree with them, or something).

  3. If you want to get a similar experience here in the U.S., go visit the Great Salt Lake in Utah ... the same thing happens when you are in there -- you float. However, in my memory as a teen, there must not be as much salt in it to "kill critters" because I do remember something dead fish smell. And this is an inland lake, not a sea or ocean, so even more curious. Hence the name of Utah's capital, Salt Lake City.
    Remember the internet: For anything you do not know how to do, (like making popcorn on the stove) GOOGLE it! You'll find lots of alternatives, I'm sure and you'll also discover the difference between the HIGH setting on your stove and what Medium/Low is for! Took a lot of burned pan bottoms for me to get a grip on top of the range cooking!
    OH, and NEVER leave a pot unattended in the presence of small children....hee hee!
    On to the next writing!