Making Room for New Wives, New Stories

holy land mount nebo jordan by eva the dragon 2013 When God told Moses “Behold you are about to sleep with your father,” Moses quickly finished writing down his book of laws.  After finishing his final sermon to his people, God told him,

“Ascend this mountain of Abarim, Mount Nebo which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho; and view the land of Canaan….and die on the mountain you ascend.” Deuteronomy 32:48-50

Depositing my poor sick friend at another host’s house, my Irish friend and I continued to Mount Nebo so, like Moses, she could view the entire Holy Land before she died.

I first ascended Mount Nebo several years ago.  At that time, we simply walked up small road, past the boys selling chocolate and bottles of water, to the old Byzantine Church. Standing on the balcony built facing west, the sky was filled with dark grey clouds. As we looked across the Dead Sea to Jericho, a few clouds split open and the sun’s rays streamed through highlighting the small piece of earth causing such turmoil. It was a powerful moment. Both my husband and I felt it was a Divine experience.

This time I easily found my way by following the government signs posting the road to Mount Nebo. We parked in the nearly full lot outside the newly constructed gate. While my friend gathered her things, I said “Salam” to the group of guards manning the Guard House and a Jordanian guide and walked through. I began taking panoramic photos of the entire valley. Behind me, footsteps crunched on the gravel.

“Madam, madam,”

I turned.

It was a short, brown-uniformed security guard and the guide in a sparkling-white thobe.  He was very tall and carried a long, goat-herding stick. They came up alongside me, a little too close.

“Madam you must buy a ticket.”

“Really? That is new. I apologize. How much is it?”

“One JD.”

I rummaged through my bag. I only had twenties, fifties and hundreds. I offered my twenty. The man shook his head. “You don’t have one JD?”

“Sorry, maybe my friend does.”

The man came closer. Too close. His closeness was not respectful. He pointed down the hill.

“You see the big tree? That is Mousa’s spring. There he took his stick and opened the rock. Sweet water comes from the spring. If you want later, I can take you.”

Mousa is Arabic for Moses. Very interesting. I had never been there before. At the end of the curvy road, cars were parked near the leafy tree. I could see flashes of color as children played in the stream.  After seeing the church, we would go, but not with this man.

“No thank you. I am a very good driver. My Pajero can make it down the road.”

“Where are you from? UK?”

“No. America.”

“Ahh America. I have always wanted an American wife,” he smiled. Again, he moved too quickly to intimate matters. It was aggressive.

“I am sure,” I said. “American wives are very popular. We are very independent and know how to make money.”

His eyes brightened with appreciation. “

Yes, I am looking for an American wife.”

“So did my husband. And he got me.”  I thought that would stop them. The man in the thobe piped in.

“I have three wives. I can have one more wife. I would like an American wife.”

Time to teach them a lone woman was not an invitation.

“My husband has three wives too,” I told him. His eyes nearly popped out of his head.

“Yes, my husband is Saudi. Right now he has three wives. Me and the other wives are tired. We want him to marry an American wife.”

“Your husband is from Saudi Arabia?” I nodded. “I am first wife. I have given my husband three children. Two boys and a girl. The other wives are pretty, but they are, well, not so good like me. We are looking for a new wife.”

The man nodded in understanding and appreciation. The security guard was watching me.

“How can I get an American wife?” the guard asked. He stepped back a respectful distance.

“You must look on the internet. Lots of people find someone on the internet. There are many websites for good Muslim girls. Put up your photo and I am certain you will find someone here in Jordan.”

“I want an American wife. Can you help me find one?”

“No, no. American women are very particular who we marry. He must be a man with very high standing. He must have a good job. He must be able to buy a house. It is very difficult to find an American woman to come to live in Jordan.”

“I speak English. I have a good job.”

“It will be very hard for you to find an American woman. But maybe,” I shrugged my shoulders.  “Try the internet.”

“Your daughter, how old is she?”

“Absolutely not.  She is too young to be a wife.  She is smart and must go to university.  Besides we are very careful who our daughter will marry.”

“I am a good man.”

“I am certain you are. But we do not know you. You would have to fill out an application, tell us all about your family, your history, your job. Only the best man will marry our daughter.”

“I work for government. I have a salary.”

Too much. Time for the hammer.

“You are a security guard. My husband is a business man.  He would never allow it.  And you smoke. Look – your teeth are brown. I would never let my daughter marry a man who smokes. You will die early and leave your wife and children all alone. Who would take care of her?  Absolutely not.  My daughter will NOT marry a smoker.”

“Please help me find an American wife.”

“No.  I am first wife. I know who is a good wife and who is a good husband. American women like men with shiny white teeth and who are healthy.  Look at you.” I pointed to his large belly. “You must find someone who will take a man like you.”

Finally my friend arrived carrying two tickets. I laid my right hand on my heart.

“Shukran. Masallamah my friends. I pray that Allah blesses you with a good wife.

“Wives? What was that all about?” my friend asked.

“Laying down the law. Those men needed an ass-kicking.

Enjoying Jordan?  For more, click through to All the amazing sites from the Bible and ancient history you can find in Jordan. Jordan – The Holy Land Museum The Land of Shared Ancestors More About Moses’ family and exploring Petra

To Hire A Man or Not – Being assigned our Pajero at the Queen Alia Airport

Interested in Oman?  Click through to Touring Oman – First Stop Fanja

Or riding the train to France? click through to Don’t Pick Me Up – Eurostar Evaesdropping

Or life on a small desert island? – Read A Day in the Life of Unexpected Coincidences

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Thelma and Louise in Jordan

Biblical map of Jordan king's highway petra

My friends, Real in LA and the Irish Princess, Tanya, and I are meeting up in Jordan for a little Thelma and Louise adventure in the desert.

Acting as tour guide, I pulled out my Bible, the RSV version Pastor Dell gave to me for my confirmation.

Looking through the maps at the back of my Bible, I choose The Exodus and The Conquest of Canaan because it outlines the King’s Highway.  This trade route has been the primary link between Damascus and Egypt for thousands of years.  We will follow it south as my friends want to visit the Nabatean capital, Petra.

Although the incense traders’ Rose City is noted, we will follow the King’s Highway south to Aqaba, then turn left into the Land of the Midian.  Calling around, I found a man who will provide us with some camels and tents once we get there.  He promised to meet us in Rum for a cup of tea before heading out into the desert.

The highway will take us through the kingdoms where the dreaded polytheists – the Ammonites, Moabites, and the Edomites – lived.

But I am not worried.

If we get in a tricky spot, I will follow this guy’s lead and sing Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel.

April Fools – The Ultimate Dog Tease

I laugh every time I watch this.

I remember my dalmatian, sitting patiently, drool dangling to the floor, as we ate in front of him.  He knew he was going to get the last bite.

January 4, 2013 Calls for the Mayan’s Food of the Gods

Marty McFly goes to the future

“You better check out your sister’s Facebook page,” Mojo told me this morning.  “There’s something posted there that will make you cry.”

Worried it was photos from my childhood, I looked at his computer.  He was right, but not because it was about me.  I remember those days in October 1985 when Michael J. Fox was driving his DeLorean around the shopping mall parking lot.  And now January 4, 2013 had passed.  Where did the time go?

Depressed, I wandered into the kitchen and laid my head on the table.

“Mom, can I make some hot chocolate?” Mark asked.

Chocolate! – the solver of all problems.

“Sure,” I said.  “Use this chocolate.  It is brand new.”

Our friends just returned from Switzerland and brought us back some chocolate.  Opening the can, I realized this was no ordinary, American, powdered chocolate, where you rip open the pouch and pour into boiling water.  This was Sprungli Swiss chocolate flakes.

chocolat chaud hot chocolate from sprungli

The 16th century Spaniards did not find the gold they searched for in South America.  But the Mayans taught them how to make xocolatl which was believed to restore health, fight fatigue and prevent fainting.  After realizing I was now in Marty McFly’s future, no Hershey’s kisses  for me, I needed the good stuff.

My sister had another photo on her Facebook.  I agreed.  As long as there is food for the Gods, the world will not end.

Oreo Cookie versus Mayan calendar

chocolate being stolen

“Hey, get your hands out of my chocolate.”

Happy All Hallow’s Eve

 

From our ghosts to yours.

My Beautiful Beast

Some of my friends are very absorbed in their work and families.  Not that I blame them, but I don’t hear from them often.  As I scanned my emails this morning, one was particularly unusual.  I clicked on it.

“Hello my beautiful pastie!” it said.

Pastie?  As in a nipple cover for the sweater kittens?  I didn’t think that was what she meant. Mine are more like niblets than hooters.

I squinted and tried again.

“Hello my beautiful BEASTIE!”

Beastie?  I thought we were on speaking terms.  We had such a good time at Champagne-a-looza last summer.  And I drove her home, in her car (so she would have it in the morning), past the cops as she sang with her bare feet up on the dashboard.

I patted around the top of my desk looking for the new reading glasses I purchased.

“Hello my beautiful Bestie.  Happy Birthday,” it read.

Bestie – as in Best Friend.

Oh yes, thank you.  It is so great getting old together.

Don’t Pick Me Up – Eurostar Eavesdropping

Riding the Eurostar through the Chunnel from Paris to London I mused on how technologies continue opening our private lives to the general public.

After thwarting the Gare du Nord pickpockets, we waited in the Duty-Free lobby for our train.  Sipping my latte, I people watched and noticed a young woman.  Her platinum Annie Lenox (who sang at the Queen’s Jubilee Party) haircut and high-heeled boots with 4-inch metal spikes caught my attention.  As she sashayed through the lobby, Mojo looked up from his Ipad.

“The walk of shame,” he grinned, referring to people/women caught in the morning wearing their party clothes from the night before.

Of course – on the train she ended up sitting in the seat in front of Mojo and across the aisle from me.  Mojo again mouthed “walk of shame” as the smell of alcohol wafted in our direction.  I giggled remembering my own days of wine and song.

Fumbling through her enormous handbag that carried everything a girl needed for a quick trip to Paris, she pulled out her mobile.

“Hello Brian.  I just wanted you to know that I am on the train from Paris and will arrive at 10:30.”

“You lost your debit card?…You don’t know where?….So you cannot pick me up.  I don’t need you to pick me up….You don’t have to be sorry…….Brian, I just wanted to tell you, it’s over.  I am tired of it all…..No, don’t pick me up from the station.  I was out last night and I am tired.  I am just going to go home to sleep…..Of course, you go and pick up your card.  I can get home by myself.  It doesn’t matter.  I am done with it all. You and the drama.  I am done.  That’s it…..No, don’t pick me up from the station.  Go get your card.  I am tired, all I want to do is sleep.  I will talk to you after I have slept… I just wanted to tell you I am going to be in London at 10:30.  But don’t pick me up.  I will go home and sleep.  Okay good-bye and don’t pick me up.”

She fumbled through her bag and the phone rang again.

It was Brian.

“Yes?…I don’t want to talk to you until I have slept. …. I called to tell you I am arriving at 10:30.  I don’t need you to pick me up….. Look I am shattered.  And I am sick to death of you and your issues.  I cannot take it anymore.  I am done. That’s it.  Finished……I don’t need this in my life.  You go and get your card.  I am arriving at 10:30 then I will go home and sleep….I don’t want you anymore.  It’s over.  I am finished….I understand.  Go get your card but I am done.  Don’t pick me up.  I need to sleep.  Okay good-bye.”

Ring, ring.

“Hello?  Hi darling… I am great.  How are you?….. I am on the train coming in from Paris.  I went for a quick visit….No, without Brian.  It was great…I will be in London at 10:30.  Sorry, I am exhausted after last night and I need to sleep when I get in.  But I can meet you around 5:30…..Yes, I just need a little nap and I will be fine…. Okay see you at tea.  Bye-bye.”

She turned her phone to silent but felt it vibrating and swiped her finger across the face.

“I wasn’t ignoring you.  I was talking with someone else.”

Brian.

“I cannot talk to you now.  I am not interested in your drama.  I’m done.  Finished.  I DO NOT CARE.…..Go get your card.  I can get home by myself….I will arrive in London at 10:30…. No – don’t pick me up.  Good-bye.”

Emotionally and physically exhausted, she slipped her phone into her bag.  Lulled by the train, she snored within seconds.  She woke up in time to powder her nose and to check to see if Brian had called before the train pulled in at 10:30.

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