31 July 2008

Mount Nebo

31 July 2008 – Mount Nebo

Today we went to Mount Nebo. Zeek’s brother Ayoub and two of our friends Fadi and Hammed were with us. It was a nice drive up there, but when we arrived we learned the church is closed. They are restoring it. The mosaics from the floors had been removed and were on display in a tent outside. We laughed a lot, talked a lot and just had a good time. We were alone, just the group of us, with no tourist guides or anything like that. We just did what we wanted and left for home. All said it was a great day. After getting back to the hotel, Zeek and I looked at all our pictures, both old and new. We even looked again at all the old pictures we have made over the years since 2002. After that we went to a shawerma shop…a Chinese one!!! The sandwiches and salad were unbelievably good! And for the first time in all my trips to Middle East we drank Coca-Cola!!! As I have told you all, Pepsi is the soft drink of choice over here. More later…

28 July 2008

Most Gorgeous Dead Sea Sunset III

Most Gorgeous Dead Sea Sunset II

Most Gorgeous Dead Sea Sunset

24 July 2008

News From Middle East

Tuesday 22nd July 2008 - Welcome Everyone, to the 2008 edition of Ol' Big Jim's Place! We are having a grand visit! The flights over here were pretty much uneventful except for a last minute schedule change. Rainwater got me to the airport kinda early where I discovered my plane was delayed. The little girl behind the counter told me she had some empty chairs on an earlier flight going through Atlanta, so I jumped on that deal! I much prefer going through Atlanta than Cincinnati anyway. I slept most of the way to Rome. Leonardo da Vinci airport is a damned zoo! First, it’s barely air conditioned and it’s very difficult to find the way you are supposed to go. By the time I maneuvered the maze, I had only about twenty minutes before my flight to Amman.

When I arrived in Amman Zeek was there to meet me and he was a sight for sore eyes I can tell you! We made our way by taxi to the flat in a very quiet part of town. The flat is in a four storey stone building and is so cute! Beautiful hardwood floors, two bedrooms, two baths, two living rooms and a kitchen. Sadly, the air conditioning system isn’t up to par. First, there is only one AC and he is located in the second living room and doesn’t put enough cool air to the bedroom. The past two days he has been freezing up which means he is no longer delivering cool air. This has been driving us mad!

Last night, Zeek and I went to Labnani for sandwiches and fruit cocktails. We had three different delicious sandwiches: roast beef, chicken livers and lamb’s spleens. They are prepared on freshly made bread thinner than a tortilla and grilled with spices, pickles, and mayonnaise. The fruit cocktail is made with fresh fruits like apples, kiwis, strawberries, bananas, pineapples, peaches, milk and a special Lebanese cheese that is so hard to find on our side. When we came back home, Zeek stumbled into a hole at the bottom of our stairs outside and turned his ankle. Thankfully, we were able to get some ice on it and elevate his foot for a few hours. Today, despite the swelling, he is doing much better.

We’ve just come from a trip to Carrefour and Mecca Mall. We shopped, had a Turkish coffee and our supper came from a Turkish café. It was sandwiches again. This time, they were filled with goat’s cheese, thyme, parsley, olive oil and meats with onions and lots of spices. Again, the sandwiches were very thin and beside them we had the most loaded baked potatoes you ever saw in your whole wide life!!! When we go again, we will make pictures of the potatoes! They were loaded with mayonnaise, corn, carrots, onions, peas, black olives, cabbage, mozzarella cheese and cheddar with juuust a tiny touch of ketchup. DELICIOUS! After eating we shopped in Carrefour (a kind of French Wal-Mart Stupid Center) and got down to Starbucks for a frapaccino and sent the email and pics you received.

Now, we are inside for the night and getting ready to watch a movie, have some snacks and do some other things…

More later!

Thursday 14th July 2008

We decided to leave the flat we were in. It was a shithole! The bidet in the bedroom didn’t work, the AC was only in the living room. This made sleeping difficult, if not impossible. Generally, it just wasn’t acceptable. The woman who owned it (a dentist) was a real bitch too, so we just left her with it. Now we are at Dead Sea. Our friend Danny booked a suite for us (you will see the pictures) that is a palace compared to the old flat. We just checked in a few minutes ago. After we’ve had our coffee and rested a bit, not to mention let y’all know what’s going on we will go down to the pools and the beach and just generally enjoy our new surroundings. Turns out the blog won't accept pictures bigger than 8 mb, so we have to resize them. Check later; we have things to do...