05 August 2007

if there is truth why can't we find it?

I always wanted to pick up a hitchhiker before I died, but preferably in such a situation that it wouldn't be the last thing I did before I died. Thanks to mother, I can check that off the list. On the drive to Petra, a cop and soldier duo flagged us down. Thinking it was a checkpoint, we produced the obligatory IDs. The cop asked (in English) where we were going. "Petra." (The only destination a rental car with two white women would likely be going.) He asked if he could come with (again in English). Mother didn't notice that it was her native language and resorted to her standard response: smile and nod. So he picked up his plastic bag and hopped in the back. At that point, it's pretty awkward to say, "Actually, what I meant by yes was get the hell out of my car." So, we drove off again and suffered through the pleasantries before I elected to resort to bad Arab radio. Then I almost killed a dog.

At last, we deposited our unwelcome passenger on the side of the road and went into ruins, the third time in as many weeks for me. We met a Bedouin donkey-ride seller who remembered me from the last two weeks, and he ended up taking us up the 900 steps to the monastery, yet another impressive building carved from a mountain. On the way down, we stopped at his mother's shop for tea and watched a Bedouin boy drag a goat around by its hind legs while the rest of the herd devoured a bag of grain. Not really sure what the goat had done wrong, but it was entertaining. When we reached flat ground, my new donkey-driver decided that it was a good time to race the donkeys. At a trot. Those of you with breasts understand what happens when you sit on a bouncing animal, those of you without can probably imagine. As we ran past another shop, the proprietor yelled, "Yes, very nice! Run the donkey more!" I felt pretty, just like two weeks earlier on the bus ride. The men here are just so friendly I can hardly stand it.

Scariest website I've ever seen. It's not satirical. Be sure to check out the "Kidz" section. The "Z" is for zealot.

1 comment:

Nick said...

"Can you help Lambuel get to church on time while avoiding temptations along the way?"
-priceless