Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, June 17, 2005

I ripped my what?

I was coming down the hill from my morning Arabic class on Jabel Amman into Wasit al Balad (the crowded city center of Amman, Jordan), when I put my foot on an unstable rock and fell.

Now I could go into a long story here about the difference between the Middle East and the U.S. in terms of how we handle uneven pavement ... walk along any sidewalk in my town back home and you will see all the ridges and cracks in the cement painted in yellow to alert the elderly, disabled, or unobservant to the possibility for a nasty fall. It's a simple ploy to avoid future litigation. On the contrary, here in the Middle East, if you fall on a crack, it's taken as the will of Allah .... walkers beware! The Middle East is a minefield of potential trips, stumbles and nasty falls just waiting to happen.

Anyway, I wont go into that ... as I was saying, I took a tumble off an unstable rock coming down into the city center. It was a hard one and I wrenched my arm a bit but I was up in a flash, dusted myself off and continued on my way through the crowded, narrow passageways and streets of the downtown area over to a Service (a shared taxi) that drove me back up the hill to Jabel al Hussain where I live.

As I left the the Service and began glumping my way happily home, a very embarressed-looking Jordanian man who had gotten out of the Service after me touched my arm.

"I'm sorry," he cringed in broken but serviceable English, "I've very sorry to tell you this. But ... but ... there is a hole in your pants. Please forgive me. I had to tell you."

Well, I went bug eyed and felt behind me ... oh lordy, there it was! My ass (clothed in black, ripped pants showing my pink underware beneath) had been on view for all to see. All the way through the crowded downtown area and he was the first person to work up the courage to tell me! I turned red and then, laughing, thanked the man.

Fortunately, there was a clothing store nearby, into which I quickly edged my way in a crab-like fashion and bought the first thing I could find that fit me.

Yet another misadventure.


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