A long-winded post so you won’t miss me these next two weeks..

Random July 15, 2011 10:39 am

Tomorrow I leave for Amman, Jordan to hang out with my new family and also — so exciting — to spend a week in Turkey! This is my third trip to Jordan and every time I go, I learn so much – I usually pick up a word (yes just one – lets not push it! So far I can say ‘hello’ and ‘bananas’), I see new things, I get stared at (a little less dramatic but not entirely unlike this photo), I learn about new foods and how my belly doesn’t like new food, I learn a new form of silence, sitting in a room full of a language that sounds nothing like what I know, I learn about how ignorant I am about a part of the world that I have read so much about, I learn about my hubby, I learn about refugees and families and how laughter and kindness is ultimately universal.

Traveling with family is not always easy.. in fact sometimes its downright painful. I get mad at myself for not understanding more, a naturally talkative person, I feel lonely in my forced silence. The staring has toned down a lot since my first visit 7 years ago, but sometimes it gets to me -random stupid paranoia fills my mind – is there something on my face, am I showing too much arm, am I looking Jewish today? These thoughts are (mostly) silly and I tell myself that I am a celebrity which is why everyone is staring.. yeah ok, I shouldn’t admit that but I am telling you because its a good trick and I don’t have many tricks. I am an awkward traveler, I love it in theory but I need xanax to fly and when my foot steps on foreign soil, Pepto instantly becomes my new bff. I want to fit in in a place where I won’t ever fit in. I want to take walks by myself and take pictures, but there are few sidewalks and I feel shy with my camera. And lets not talk about the heat, ok?

But I am tremendously excited. I feel lucky to have a Palestinian family, I am so lucky to see this side of the world, every minute I spend in the Middle East, I thank my lucky stars that I have a reason to be in a place which takes me so far out of my comfort zone.

Anywhoo — hope you skipped to this bit because my little diary entry above got kinda long.. the good news is that I have some amazing friends and family who will be acting as guest bloggers these next couple of weeks.. I’m thrilled that they have agreed to share their knowledge, photos, interests and rants with us.. Lucky me, lucky you, lucky us!

See you in August.. xokate

 

Men gathered on a street in Amman, Jordan, 1958 July - from the Library of Congress

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