Monday, July 19, 2010

Some things are more exciting the older you get.......

Yumminess as far as the eyes can see......or almost
I love sweets.  Yes, I sure do.  So when Gretchen showed me this wonderful bag of candy that she bought in Jerusalem, I was envious.  Until she immediately shared the big stash with me, upon seeing the gleam of desire in my eyes.  The best part was when she told me that we could get one on the way back to the border.  I was disappointed to have to go back to Amman so soon, especially since getting to Ramallah took so freaking long.  (6 hours door to door)  However, this blight in my existence was vanished upon seeing this candy.  I merrily grabbed the silver tongs that were beckoning me and dove in to all the candy, stuffing every single kind into my huge plastic bag.  To brighten my day even more, the boy who weighed my candy threw in an extra two handfulls of candy.  Probably just to make it an even three pounds, but I was still happy.  Thirty shekels ($9, 6JD) was a small price to pay to pay for days and days of happiness.  Now where is the Pepto Bismol?!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The umbrella-car office complete with typewriter and copier

I had to go back to the Syrian Embassy today with Gretchen so I decided to take a picture of the 'office' where we had our documents typed up and copied.  As you can see, this guy is in high demand!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trip to the Syrian Embassy

Today I went to the Syrian Embassy to start the month long process of getting a visa.  It doesn't seem to be so much of a process, as much as it is just waiting for a month after you fill out all of the paperwork.  In the past, Americans could go to the border and obtain a visa.  The catch is that you would most likely wait about 6 hours before getting it.  Word on the street is that the regulations recently changed and it's not possible to get a visa at the border anymore. That's fine with me, I didn't want to wait 6 hours at the border anyway.  Especially in August.

Everything was going smoothly until I was told that I needed to have a form typed.  This wouldn't be a problem if I could actually find the guy who could supposedly do this for me.  When I went back and asked, they told me to look for the guy next to the car with the umbrella.  Ohhhh.....why didn't I think of that before?!  I walked out of the embassy and sure enough, there was a car by the side of the road, with the door open and a huge beach umbrella wedged between the door and the car.  There was a little boy sitting next to the copier on the front passenger seat and the father had his typewriter set up on a table.  While the man was typing away (pecking at the keyboard, looking for each letter)  I tried in vain to strike up a conversation with another woman who was also waiting.  She said she spoke French, and I thought, "Great, I can speak French."  Well, great unless my mind freezes and goes into Arabic-only mode because it's been so long since I practiced my French.  I could understand her but found myself struggling to remember simple words in French and ended up replying in Arabic.  I'm 99% sure I sounded like an idiot.  Yeah, I know French.  Oops, just kidding!!  I blame this on the heat.

The best part was when I looked at the finished document and saw that instead of being born in 1982, I was supposedly born in 982.  My last name, Perne, was spelled correctly, alhamdulila, but the guy spelled my mothers last name Porne.  Yeah, so apparently I'm over 1,000 years ago and have a last name that is......undesirable.  Ah...Jordan!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Holy Land Club Update

I think I neglected to mention the name of the club that is located by my apartment. It's called the Holy Land Club. No joke. Little did I know that the 'club' is actually located in a church!!!
Sounds crazy? It is!

The other night, I got so fed up with the loud music that I marched over there myself (with a male friend. Let's face it, I'm not very intimidating) to scope out the scene. I was surpised to not see any light from the place I thought the music was coming from. Following the music, I turned the corner and kept walking until I found the source of the music. A church. The same one I went to on Easter.

There was a DJ parked in the entrance of the church, behind the gates, and about 50 white plastic chairs. Nobody was dancing, there was just loud music and a bunch of people. This whole scene was confusing. Not only is it just weird that a 'club' is in the church, but nobody is dancing. Everyone is just sitting around listening to the DJ spin this obnoxiously loud music. Just in case you are wondering, the music the DJ spins is definitely not Christian music.

I politely explained to the bouncer (yes, there was a bouncer at the church entrance) that this is a residential neighborhood and there are plenty of people (such as myself) who live very close by and hear the music in their apartments at all hours. Then I politely asked if they could turn it down to respect those living nearby.

The polite request didn't work. And no, I'm not really surprised. Being aggressive and confrontational just isn't my nature. Gotta put on my mean face. (see photo below) Or throw stink bombs.

Embarassing photos, still going strong!

My mom has always taken pleasure in documenting every moment of my life, celebrating every 'first' anything and making me pause and pose in odd settings to capture 'moments'. It used to somewhat annoy me but now I actually get it. It wouldn't surprise me if I turn out the same when I have kids.

There have been several times my mom has asked me to pose for picutres that have ended.....badly. For example, the time when my mom made me get in a reindeer and Santa display at the Toledo Zoo when I was about 6 years ago. I begrudgingly crouched under the red ropes, (you know, the ones that are supposed to prevent people from going further) and posed with the reindeer. Cute, right? But not so cute when the whole reindeer and Santa display falls over because I knocked it down. I did what any child would do in that situation. I ran for my life! (note: due to the fact that I have asthma, I only run when absolutely necessary) Hide in the dinosaur display! Hide in the bathroom! Cover myself with snow! The icing on the cake was when my uncle called my mother and pretended to be the director of the zoo and tried to convince my mom she had to pay for the damaged reindeer display.

Then there was the time, about 20 years ago, when we were on a family vacation, driving to Myrtle Beach. My mom saw an abandoned house and thought it would be hilarious for me to pose in front of it with a disgruntled look on my face. I wasn't keen on the idea but I obliged anyway. I knew saying no the camera was akin to not going to bed on time or not eating my vegetables. So I ran up to the house, sat down, posed for the picture and accordingly looked a bit peeved.

On a weekend trip with my friends last week, I saw this abandoned building that reminded me of the one I saw 20 years ago. This time I was the one running up to the building all excited, asking a friend to take the picture. Aw, man, my Mom is going to looove this one!

This post is for your Mom!