Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oh, Welcome to Jordan!

Taxi rides can be pretty interesting here. Sometimes the drivers are so busy trying to light a cigarette that they don’t put their hands on the wheel. Sometimes they drive really slow and get everyone mad at them. Sometimes they drive really fast and scare you half to death. Sometimes they are grumpy and tell you to walk because it’s too close to drive and they want more money (even though it would be a 2 hour walk). Most of the time they are really friendly. Andrew is really good at talking to them. For part of his homework, he has to do 12 hours of speaking and listening, so talking to cab drivers counts as homework. He has made quite a few friends. I have too, although I can’t say much. But everyone loves me. See, my name is Nancy—therefore I have automatic popularity. There is singer here named Nancy (we think she is Lebanese) so everyone things that I have a good Arabic name.

One day we were in the taxi and the driver was talking to Andrew. (Andrew will be speaking to the cab drivers in Arabic and then they’ll ask him if he speaks Arabic. When he says that he does, they get really excited and then ask if I speak Arabic too. When he says that I don’t they just grunt and then ignore me for the most part). A very popular song of Nancy’s came on and Andrew said in Arabic, “Hey, my wife’s name is Nancy.” And the cab driver (who had been ignoring me previously because I couldn’t speak Arabic) got all enthusiastic and said (in English), “Oh, welcome to Jordan. Nancy is good Arabic name.” It’s not, but that’s okay. Everyone can say my name and they all love me when they find out my name is Nancy. It’s pretty funny.

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