Monday, February 21, 2011

Driving Rant: Brace Yourself

I realize I live in a country that has a different value system than the one I was born and bred in.

That is just fine with me.

I also realize that because there is a different value system, law and order is interpreted differently.

That is okay with me too.

I realize I come from a society that is very rigid in our interpretation of law and order and I live in a country that is more flexible in their interpretation of law and order.

I can live with that too.

But I realized I have some anger issues when this is all applied to driving. I need to work through these feelings. So, I am going to deal with them right here on my blog, using a formula that I learned to help resolve conflict: When you ______ it makes me feel _______.

So. Here it goes.

When you...
  • turn left from the right lane, cutting off everyone turning left IN the left lane...
  • drift to the the middle of the road because you are on your phone, blocking all cars from getting by on either side...
  • triple park on the busiest street in town...
  • think putting your flashers on excuses you from doing any number of idiotic maneuvers...
  •  think hanging your hand out the window doing any number of hand motions excuses you from doing any number of idiotic maneuvers...
  • speed up to get around me and then slow down to a snails pace once you are in front of me {because you don't want to mess up your pimped out Kia on a speed bump}...
  • honk from behind me the instance the light turns green...
  • trail my bumper so close I can read your car's VIN number...
  • park in the middle of the road 'just for a minute'...
  • let your kids crawl around the car and hang out the window while your speeding down the road...
  • use your large size SUV and government plates to try to intimidate me to let you have the right-of-way...
it makes me so very, very ANGRY I could just spit!

Moments after I snapped this photo, the light turned green and the taxi on the right...turned left.

Would it shock you if I mentioned that each one of these things happened to me today?

I drove from my house to work and back.

That is about five miles round trip.

I'm just gong to walk tomorrow.

{then I can do a post about how scary it is to be a pedestrian with all those crazy drivers out on the loose}

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fun News AND a Give-Away

Apricots Today was just selected as one of the Top 10 Jordan Expat Blogs. Pretty cool, eh?

Stop on by to see here. Also, if you are planning a trip or a move overseas...this website is a great place for resources and the inside scoop {you can select just about any country!}.

On this happy occasion, I feel a give-away is in order! I will randomly select one fabulous Apricots Today follower and will send them a gift: a recycled newspaper basket from the wonderful ladies I work with...and the basket will be full of Jordan almonds. What fun!

Want to be part of the action?
Head on over to the sidebar {on your right} and follow Apricots Today via Blogger, Networked Blogs, or Apricots Today Facebook page.

I will be selecting the winner on March 31st.
{mainly because I don't trust the postal system here and my hubby's family will be I can send your gift safely home with them!}


Congratulations to Alicia M. from Michigan! She was the give-away winner!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What's Going on In Egypt?

Mubarak made quite a speech last night! Made the issues as clear as the mud from the Dead Sea.

This has nothing to do with Egypt. Just my cute kids playing in the Dead Sea mud.

We have received a rush of emails and phone calls regarding our safety and general well being. Thanks for being concerned! For the record {as of today} we are just fine. Our small country just keeps on ticking. No major uproar.

Yes, there have been protests. They here have been peaceful {there were photos of the police handing water bottles to the protesters} and the King has been responding. Most commentators have said that people are not asking for government reform, just calling for continued evolution in the direction the country is already heading.

By the way. I am not a political commentator. To be honest, I don't always know/understand even half of what is going on politically in this region. I just know that the city I live in has been quiet. There is food on the grocery shelves. And the American Embassy has not emailed or called with any messages of impending doom.

BUT! There are a lot of fabulous Bloggers in this region that do know what is going on. I enjoy reading their opinions because they are not the media and don't try to sensationalize the story. I have been quite disheartened to watch CNN and BBC.  They often report 'Live Feed' when I know it is not. It was long after sunset where I live and broad daylight in Cairo on the Live Feed. Not possible. One day, the Live Feed from our very rainy capital city showed protesters on a bright sunny day. Not true. Frustrating.

So, I turn to these great Bloggers of the region to get a  'street level' view of what is really going on right now in the Middle East. Enjoy!

Black Iris
Very popular {in English} Jordanian blogger.

American married to Jordanian.

An American who has lived here for ages. I love the passion with which she addresses social justice issues in this region. And she did recently have a bit to say about recent political events. Short and sweet.

Hope this helps clear up the mud a bit.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Pictures

These two photographs were taken about the same time.
They explain something important:
I live in paradise.
{ignoring all the protests and general mayhem, of course}

where we used to live

where we live

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Camel Races

One of Apricots Today most popular post of all time is this one about camels.

They are really strange looking animals. Kind of fascinating and gross all at the same time.

A new camel racing track was built in the desert about 45 minutes from our house. We decided it was about time to check it out because...what time is a better time to check out a camel race?

Here is a play by play of what happens at camel races:
{please remember, I have no idea what I am talking about, I just make things up based on what I observe} {thanks for keeping that in mind}

The old men sitting around placing bets.
The grandpa camel shows up to cheer on his 315 kids.

The camels are herded to the starting gate.
The boys who were naughty that week get to try to line up the crazy beasts behind the starting gate and then run for their lives when the gate goes up. We only saw one get run over. He was okay. After a few minutes.
The camel legs go in directions that legs should not go.
The remote controlled jockeys whip the camels because a few years ago child labor laws outlawed having small boys do the job. It was probably a good decision, ya think?
Everyone waits.
Other boys who were probably naughty get to 'catch' the camels as they cross the finish line. It seems kind of scary.
This boy took notes from the camel and went barefoot.
Oh, the foaming, bubbling spit. Yuck!
The old men stand by to watch their prized camels.
Others pray for good fortune.
While the teenagers are out in the parking lot with their dads trucks playing in the mud.

"Wow, these are really amazing pictures", you must be saying. You want to know why? I didn't take them. My gifted husband was down there mixed in with the scads of men taking these pictures. I was up in the stands. Sitting in a white plastic chair. Watching the VIP guests eat their chocolate covered strawberries whilst sitting in their leather couches whilst watching the race on big screen TV's. Telling my daughter, who kept telling me she was bored, that we were at a camel race for Pete's sake and that is not a normal thing any ole' American 7 year old gets to see. So enjoy it! So, that is why the pictures are so good.

Savory Sunday: Oozie

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Attention! Read This! Good News from the Middle East!

This week has been an interesting one to live through.
First Tunisia.
Now Egypt.
And tonight the King sacked the government in our little neck of the woods. This is actually quite a normal thing. It has happened many times before and it was his response to the protesters calling for reform. He responded! A step ahead of Egypt!

Most apartment buildings have building guards who are Egyptians. Our sweet little building guard keeps knocking on our door to find out if his country still exists. If it still has a President. He asked my husband what America was saying about it. And he also wanted to know how many White Houses there were in America. And how many States have them.
I took him down a pizza for dinner.

Well, with all the gunky news swirling want to take a few minutes to see what good is happening in the Middle East?

Head on over to YouTube.
The Queen has her own channel.

A recent clip you could watch is her Today Show interview. {It's 6 minutes.}

And, the Queen has a sense of humor! Check her out making fun of herself. I'd have to do that if I were the Queen. {It's 2 minutes.}

And here she answers some tough questions on Arab women. {It's 2 1/2 minutes.}

Things may just be heading in the right direction...