November 25th, 2010


mosque day

the abu darweesh mosque
click to enlarge

had a tour of amman's mosques today, along with several churches, some very wealthy neighborhoods, and the late king hussein's antique car collection. my guide, gassan, who is from morocco, then took me home to his house where i met his three children, his wife, had a great espresso, and saw probably the best view yet of the entire city. a good day.

some unrelated notes:

for some reason, even though people drive on the right here, they default to the left when walking. this has led to many awkward sidewalk dances (although all my dancing is awkward).

there is an amazing amount of construction and infrastructure work going on in jordan in general and amman in particular. the US could use some job stimulation along these lines.

i have seen drivers do the most crazy things here. it is routine to execute a k turn in heavy traffic. it is common to drive the wrong way on a one way street. parking is incredibly haphazard. what is most impressive is that i have never seen anyone get mad at anyone else. people use their horns, but usually to warn people that they are there, and only occasionally to indicate impatience. people drive aggressively, but give way amiably when the other guy wins. i like it.

at the king abdullah mosque, they distribute a statement which eloquently decries all extremism and violence, calling it an abomination which has nothing to do with the true teaching of islam. it also speaks out against the common western notion that we are at war with 1.2 billion muslims instead of a few hundred or even thousand maniacs.

happy overeating day!