Here is what I've been told about Arab culture: they don't like to disappoint. So, for example, if you ask someone for directions, they will give you directions, regardless of whether they know how to get where you want to go. This, not to be mean, but because they don't want to disappoint you.
So, just by way of example, let's imagine you were waiting for your car to arrive. They might tell you it is here, in Amman, just so you will be happy. They will tell you this, week after week, as you happily await the imminent arrival of the vehicle. But it never arrives. You will eventually find out it is not in Amman. It is still in Aqaba. But okay, they'll tell you, this is not a problem. The car will arrive by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. You will be happy. They will be happy. Everyone will be happy.
Until Wednesday. When you still have no car.
But it's okay, they will tell you, because your car will definitely, certainly, cross their heart be here by Sunday. For sure. You are happy. They are happy. Everyone is happy.
As I type this, it is Sunday night. And do you think we got our car today?
(It's okay, I can wait while you ponder this...)
You are correct. We did not get our car.
But that's okay, because they told me we'll get it tomorrow.
Even though it is still tied up in customs.
Probably still in Aqaba.
But tomorrow. It will definitely be parked in my driveway tomorrow.
This past weekend, we took matters into our own hands and hired a man with a van to drive us 45 minutes north to Jerash. It's an old Roman city: the signs say it was built in 129 AD, which, as I told the kids, is like 129 years before Christ was born. Yes, that's right, I told them it was before Christ was born. BC, AD, whatevs. It's really, really, old, okay? That's all they needed to know.
Shay took most of the pictures. And if the kids look cheerful in the photos, well, it just goes to show what a great photographer he is. Actually, they whined their way through the first half of the site, which was too hot and too boring, unless you count their chance encounter with their school buddies, Mohammed and Yousef. That part was okay. Other than that, it was pretty much hot and boring the whole way up.
Once we got to the top, we gulped about 200 bottles of water and pointed our noses back downhill. At that point, they became positively giddy, and the return trip through the site was actually a lot of fun.
I'm glad we didn't wait to get our car. It was nice to get out and see something. Not as nice as it'll be when we finally see our car parked in our driveway, but, you know...