A few cool stories from last week...
1 - We've discovered the coolest store in the world here. Safeway. It's right next to Abdoun, the expatriate rich neighborhood. The store has food from every Western country. We got maple syrup, Italian tomato sauce, American ceral, peanut butter - everything! It's like an international Walmart. We got our sheets and pillows and pots and pans and stuff there too. They even have a semi food court that makes fresh juices and milkshakes - we got pineapple juice and a strawberry milkshake last time.
So, last week in Safeway, we met an Italian couple who were impressed that I spoke Italian. We gave each other our phone numbers and left. They called us a few days ago and invited us over for dinner. So, we happily went. We had real Italian pizza (there's a pizzeria across the street from their apartment - the Arab owner lived in Italy for a few years, so he knew what he was doing) and some way good pasta and spoke Italian most of the time (even Nancy).
We think they had ulterior motives for the invitation though. They are both devout Jehovah's Witnesses.
When I left with Pietro to get the pizza, he cheefully asked me where I was from. When I said Utah, his mood changed completely. He said "Oh..." and got really silent. I wrecked his plans for a bible study that night. As you may know, the relationship between Mormon missionaries, even ex- missionaries and JWs isn't that good.
They were still pleasant and nice the rest of the evening and never tried fighting us or converting us. They gave us a few pamphlets and an Arabic bible when we left, but didnt' invite us again for another evening - didn't even say that we should meet again. It seemed final. They lost us as potential investigators. We got good food though.
Who would've thought that we'd eat dinner with two Italian JWs in Amman Jordan? Cool, huh?
Cool story number 2 - once again at Safeway...
The first day the Slades were here, we took them to Safeway to buy groceries. I talked with the driver a lot and it was pretty fun. He dropped us off in front of Safeway and I stayed in the car and got the money out to pay him. I gave him a bill from my wallet and then got my coin pouch to pay him the rest of the fare. I then left really fast to catch up with everyone else.
I then realized that one of my pockets was empty. My wallet was in the taxi still - with all my money (I had just taken 350 JD out of an ATM - according to Google, that's $493.30...) and credit cards and ID and everything. Nancy and I panicked. The taxi driver was driving away. I started yelling and chasing him down, but we were stuck in the walled parking lot of Safeway.
He heard our cries of panic and stopped in the middle of the road and saw us stuck behind the wall. He moved over to the side of the road. As he did so, brave ol' Nancy scaled the wall and jumped down the other side to grab my estranged wallet. She thanked him and he drove off, and we were a lot happier, although we were pretty shaken the rest of the day. I'm a lot more careful with my wallet now.
So, that's all for now!
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It's possible that you didn't have anything to worry about - when we were in Hama, Syria, we took a taxi to a restaurant. About an hour later, the taxi driver walked into the restaurant and handed Jeremy our video camera case, inside of which was our video camera, Jeremy's passport, and wallet (!!!!!!!!). We hadn't even realized it was missing. The honest taxi driver took his own time and initiative to bring it back to us.
I love Syria!
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