Al Ordon

Trip Start Jan 18, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Jordan  ,
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I had a lot of fun talking with my cab driver on Monday (my first fosHa test went extremely well by the way!!!).  He spoke no English and I could tell that my Arabic had already improved since the last time I spoke to a cab driver! J  We talked about me and how I was studying Arabic at the university and the difference between fosHa and aameya and how fosHa sucks; we talked about America and how hard it is to get in (most all taxi cab drivers bring up this point about visas); we talked about how to get to my apartment a lot because he didn't know the locations I brought up and I didn't know the locations he brought up so we ended up driving around quite a bit and he pointed out places and street names and such; we talked about Amr Diab, who came up on the radio, and he started singing for me....It was amazing that he NEVER once asked me to marry him!  Usually the visa and marriage thing go hand in hand but I guess he was perceptive enough to know that almost nobody will marry a taxi cab driver after knowing him for 15 minutes!  He was super nice and gave me a discount on my fare...he said I didn't need to pay anything but obviously I paid him what I usually pay for that ride.
By the way, if you didn't know the price of gas went up a lot in Jordan....the government took away its subsidy.  Before the Iraq war gas was super cheap because Jordan had a good deal going with Iraq and basically got free oil...then the US invaded Iraq and  now Jordan is suffering because of the US's mishap.  Many people in Jordan obviously didn't agree with a lot of things Saddam did to his people, but they did appreciate his ability to keep the country stable and also the positive relationship Jordan shared with Iraq.  So because gas went up, taxi cab rides have gone up as well so now I'm literally paying the price for what my country did!   
It's interesting though, it seems like people I encounter who are not Arab in Jordan assume that since I am American I think Arabs are terrorists.  For instance, when I was at Petra and having tea with this old Bedouin woman, a young guy stopped by who I had seen around and he started talking with us.  He was from England and his friend with him (who was off somewhere else at the time) was Iraqi...but he had to point out to me that he was "a good one, not a bad one," like I thought all Iraqis were evil or something!  Also, on Sunday at the Language Center two friends and I went outside to sit until class started (the weather was actually sunny that day!!).  A guy came up to us and started asking questions and such.  Eventually he brought up the subject of his heritage.  He was European but many of his "kind" live in Jordan....they DON'T mix with the Arabs though he made clear, except for those who are worthless.  He then said all Arabs are terrorists.  I was kind of confused so I asked him to elaborate.  He said, well not all Arabs...the Jews and Christians aren't.  haha  My friends and I just smiled and chuckled a bit, talked to him a little more, and then we excused ourselves.  I don't know if he really truly meant this ridiculous statement, or if he thought we would agree with him and like him more for saying it.  Who knows.
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