Wednesday, October 19, 2011

People who I (try to) talk to in Arabic in Jordan

- Taxi Drivers: Hit or miss group that rarely fails to provide an entertaining ride (as long as they don't try and rip you off), whether it's swearing at Palestinians out the window, telling you how they make more money in a taxi than in an office, or trying to sell you Catholic rosary beads.

- Security Guards at the UN: Smart, well-rounded, retired soldiers sitting in front of the UN Food Program building in Amman with nothing to do but talk to Americans about politics and their favorite 80s American TV shows.

- Shopkeepers at the crazy looking, mint-colored mosque: A bunch of lower middle-class, mostly devout Muslims who try to convert you to Islam while offering you processed mango juice with way too much sugar. 

- the Shabaab (not the terrorist organization in Somalia, but the Arabic word for young people): A bunch of crazy, hormonally repressed young adults who have never had a real conversation with a girl in their lives, never study even though they attend one of the premier universities in the Middle East, and like to teach Americans all the good Arabic swear words in exchange for a few English ones. 

- LDS Church members in Irbid: Pious, faithful, extremely small group of Mormons who just can't give up their Orthodox icons yet inspire you by their commitment to come to church week after week and slowing put their lives in line with Gospel despite serious cultural obstacles.