So there we were, Carolyn and I, on Christmas Eve, sneaking out of the house to make a Starbucks run. It was just me and my sis-in-law, who was visiting from Jerusalem - the rest of the family was at the Royal Automobile Museum, and the two of us were supposed to be home wrapping presents. But we figured they'd never find out if we snuck out for an hour.
(Ummm, we figured wrong. Shoulda hidden the coffee cups.)
Along the way, we were comparing Jerusalem and Amman. I live in west Amman, which is actually pretty cosmopolitan - I mean, hey, we have a Starbucks, for goodness sake.
But, I pointed out as we walked, even in my fancy-ish neighborhood, we frequently see kids on donkeys, sheepherders with their flocks and guys on horseback.
Really, she asked? Sheep and donkeys, really?
Really, really, I told her.
We were halfway through a narrow dingy alley as I said this.
Suddenly, we heard the sound of bells directly ahead. At the other entrance of the alley, an entire flock of sheep was approaching. A big flockin' flock, along with several sheepherders, a few dogs and a donkey. Carolyn and I had to squash into a little gateway to avoid being - well, not trampled, exactly, because they were just sheep, after all - but there was definitely not room enough in the alley for all of us.
We couldn't stop laughing at the scene, put there in front of us just as we were in the middle of our livestock discussion. And of course, we both said, never in America. Never would you see such a thing downtown, one block from Starbucks, in a high-end section of a major metropolis.