Buffalo Wings and Souk Jara

I have test-success blues. What are those you may ask? The test-success blues are what happen when you do better on a test than you expected and now you are facing a very difficult class ahead. I was placed in Advanced Arabic I, which is where I’m sure my Arabic professor from Cedarville would say I should place (according to where we are in the textbook). However, this means that, this semester, we will go through the entire Al-Kitaab 2 textbook. That concept is terrifying. Last semester, we went through three chapters. This will be ten chapters. My host family told me that when something bad happens, instead of saying “uh-oh”, you can say “Ieeeeee!” …Ieeeeeeeee. But! 12 hours of modern standard Arabic a week should help with the whole learning it thing…moomkin (maybe). 

 
Last night was a ridiculous amount of fun. My host family invited some of their relatives over and Raed made buffalo chicken wings! (Are you shocked by the American choice? ;] )We all hung out in the living room as Jordanian/Lebanese music played and chatted while we waited for the food. It was really interesting to listen to them interchange between Arabic and English. It’s so easy for them. I’m absolutely green with jealousy. Let me tell you though. These wings? The best wings I’ve ever had in my life. Raed is a pro and should definitely open his own restaurant. They were spicy and super-dee-duper awesome.
 
This morning our host family took us to a restaurant that serves the best traditional Jordanian breakfast. It was delicious! Hummus, Feta (a hummus like dish with bread, nuts, and olive oil), Falafel, Peta bread, and Fuul. So yummy. I am loving the food here. It tastes so healthy and is perfectly filling. And if you know me, you know that I am obsessed with eating bread. So I’m in the right place. Then, this afternoon, Saba and I headed over to Rainbow Street again to visit Souk Jara. Souk Jara is a market with tons of little shops. It was so colourful and exciting. I didn’t buy anything yet. I just wanted to get a sense for what they had. And they had a lot – jewelry, sand art, fabrics, dishes, books, spices. Just about anything you can think of.

Then we met up with some friends and went on quite the little adventure. My friend, Tasha, was in need of a soft blanket and had been directed to go to Gardens. We took a taxi to Gardens, paid the taxi driver what the meter said (even though he was trying to get more from us), and then started asking people if there was a store that sells blankets. No one had any idea what we were talking about. And they made sure to make us feel silly for even asking as it would be closed anyway. It’s Friday after all. Turns out Friday is the holy day here. Which, of course, if I’d thought about for even a second I would have known. Haha. It’s crazy how shut down Amman is though on a Friday. Most everything was closed and there was nothing really to do. We finally found a restaurant to at least have lunch at and then Saba and I headed home. We ran into some other CIEE students though who had just come from downtown Amman. They had to leave it quickly though because apparently a demonstration was about to get started. They said a great number of police were making their way into the area. The program said we have to be careful not to be around there when there are protests (which has been happening every Friday for awhile now).

It’s a very interesting time to be in the Middle East right now I think. So much desire for change, and yet, also no desire at all. I’m really excited about being here and learning things from such a different perspective.

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