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water, water. not everywhere.

September 20, 2010

As a lovely, welcoming rite-of-passage, my new place of residence has decided to gift me with a great Jordanian cliché: we have run out of water. Mysteriously so, in fact, because we weren’t particularly over-using it. The woman whose place I took here (and who now lives across the street) is facing the same problem in her new home, just after moving in. I think the great country of Jordan is conspiring to haze us.

What this means is that by the time Water Day arrives (tomorrow), I will not have showered in so many days that I won’t share the exact number with you because I don’t want you to be too grossed out. We have some water left in our barrel, which we’re using for the minimal washing of dishes and flushing of toilet. (Brushing teeth and drinking water comes separately, and we have enough of that.) There will be glorious  celebration in this home when tomorrow morning arrives. SO EXCITED.

Anyway! As inconvenient as it may be, I can’t hate because this is my sunset view from my front door:

isn't she a beautiful city?

Also, last night I had the very random and awesome chance to attend an Armenian dance performance. My upstairs neighbors are Armenian, and when roommate J and I visited them the day before, they invited us to come with them to the show because two of their children were performing. I am so glad we went: I obviously love dance shows, but it was also invaluable to experience a slice of minority-community life here in Amman. It’s a tight-knit world that’s doing its part to maintain some sense of culture and tradition here. (At least…that’s what I’m guessing. Some of the only words I understood from the intro were ثقافة و تقليد ). Anyhow, it was all great fun, and bizarrely enough, certain aspects of Armenian dance remind me a lot of Korean dance. Particularly in the hand and arm movements–there were several sequences that I could’ve sworn I did myself years and years ago as a Korean dancer. Haha! There are musical similarities, too. See for yourself (clip and pic from last night):

A car just drove by blasting Usher’s “OMG.” The end.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2010 12:00 am

    The people of the Central/Lower Caucasus (ie, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijani) are in a pretty strange situation in terms of geopolitics and how they identify culturally. As you’ve noticed, they are a LOT more Asian than most people assume (dance, food, etc.), but they have strong political ties with Iran and are vying for attention from the US/EU. Add to the identity crisis/phenomenon of borrowing from the dominant cultures surrounding them a long history of trading with Asia (the Silk Road runs through the Caucasus) and you have a lot of cultural overlap. Which is to say: it’s not surprising (to me, anyway) that Armenian dance is similar to Korean dance (it’s similar to how I found out that khinkali, a traditional Georgian dish, is basically dumplings transplanted directly from China).

    Also, about the lack of showering…I’ve been there. Apparently if you wait long enough your hair gets so dirty that it starts to look clean again. Mine just starts to smell like maple syrup.

    • September 21, 2010 1:41 pm

      ahh that makes sense, you georgian expert! and um…my hair def did not smell like syrup, you lucky duck. more like straight up gross. (but i’ve heard about people who shampoo once a week or less, and that after an initial period of yuck, it all sorts itself out?? my hair needs to be washed a few times a week though, for sure.) oh anddd peace corps?! so exciting. i hope you apply, at least just to see what happens. 😀

      • September 22, 2010 11:33 pm

        I just re-read my comment and it sounded kind of know-it-ally. Sorry about that! I just…yeah I was really surprised about the cultural overlap, but I’m in the middle of reading a book about the Caucasus and was really excited to be able to apply my newfound knowledge…

        The maple syrup smell gets overpowering after half a day or so. It’s hard to shake the feeling that my hair is covered in the stuff, since it feels so nasty anyway. I definitely do not have the patience to wash it less than once every 4 days. I understand where you’re at.

        I’m moving forward with the PC stuff, and in the meantime I’m reading a zillion PC South Caucasus blogs. Happy Days. Also, we should Skype soon.

  2. Elliott Kim permalink
    September 22, 2010 3:51 pm

    Just shower less, then your hair will adjust how much it oils

  3. fro permalink
    September 23, 2010 1:56 am

    URSHER!!!!!!!!!! glad to know he’s there with you. in pop song culture.

    • Allie permalink
      September 23, 2010 11:25 pm

      also glad to know that Usher is with you…or at least in Jordan! miss you, but trust that you’re on an awesome adventure!

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