This blog entry isn't about anything in particular, it's more a compilation or random things that I've noticed in Jordan recently. I've written about the crazy driving here before, and how crossing the street is an experience unto itself, but I believe I neglected to mention the unbelievable amount of people that fit into cars here on a regular basis. The other day, I was in a taxi looking around and I had to do a double take as I saw a car packed with 9 people....and I don't mean an SUV or anything. This was a normal sized car with 6 adults in the back and three in the front. On a normal basis, I'd say you can easily count on seeing at 6 people packed into a small car. The next time I think of complaining that I feel cramped in the backseat of a car with only 2 other people, I will just remember to be thankful that there aren't three other people sitting on our laps.
The other day I saw a mother in the front seat of a car with her baby sitting on her lap! In the US, this would freak people out and I'm sure many passer bys would be cursing about the irresponsible mother under their breath. If my memory serves me right, Ohio has a law mandating that people in the front seat wear seat belts. Even if the mom was buckled up, I don't think the baby sitting on her lap would count as being buckled in safely.
One of the most bizzare things that I've seen has to be the monkey that I saw sitting on the top of a car, being fed by it's owner. The guy looked totally casual, as if this is something totally normal that happens everyday, which it probably is, as I saw this guy and his monkey more than once!
There's one more thing that I saw recently that really stuck out in my head...the boy I saw in the barber shop. Now seeing a boy in a barber shop usually isn't an odd sight, but when the boy is standing in front of a man waiting to get a shave, that's a bit shocking! Just to make sure that I wasn't making any wrong assumptions, I asked my friend Ahmad about boys working in barber shops and he confirmed that it's normal, especially in the summer when they are out of school. I guess they must have a steady hand and experience with shaving but boy, I don't know if I would trust a 12 year old with a blade to get that close to me!!
As they say in Jordan, A'adi, it's normal!