Middle Eastern Winter: Day 18?

I'm guessing at the day now. I don't even really care, but for the sake of continuity I decided to keep the day going.


Things I've forgotten to mention:
-I have become the master at sleeping while traveling. Whether in a plane, crowded Egyptian bus, ferry, taxi, or car. Just count on me. Time goes by so fast when you're sleeping.
-Multiple people have thought I'm Jordanian or Muslim or both. I guess the beard is doing its job. The pastor of the Arabic church asked me in Arabic if I was Jordanian. When I gave him the "I don't have a clue what you're talking about look," he asked in English where I was from. I think in the bathroom at the cafe a guy was talking to me. He kept looking at me, but I didn't understand so I smiled like I knew what he was talking about. I probably fooled him. I'm that good.


Today we went to an Arabic speaking church. It was our second time going there. The first time was pretty good. Today was alright. I think its better than the international church we went to. From my experience, I'm not a huge fan of international churches. There are just weird dynamics.

After church, we came home and Sue (Sam's mom) made some spaghetti for lunch. That was good. While she was preparing it, I got some good reading done. I also set some time aside to listen to music. I've needed just to relax and listen to some tunes. It was nice to do so.

Also, it was Bruce's (Sam's dad) birthday today. The funny thing is Sue never remembers his birthday. So, it only took her until 4 pm to remember today was the day. The Cannons have some funny stories about her forgetting. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to witness it myself. Once she finally remembered, we could talk about it out loud. To celebrate, we went to Fudruckers. Yep, Fudruckers. I got a delicious buffalo crispy chicken sandwhich. Yum. After we went and got some sweets, but we were saddened to find that there was no more baklava in the store. So we settled with some other stuff.

I've failed to mention that we've been playing a lot of Scrabble and Boggle. Bruce loves playing. And he's glad that we actually give him competition. Sue doesn't apparently. In honor of the birthday boy, we played a good deal tonight. Too bad I had to beat him in Scrabble.

We've only got a week left and then back to the States and back to school. I'm kind of excited for this upcoming semester. I think I'm going to learn a lot. What I'm not looking forward to, though, are the flights home. If they ask for people to stay behind in Istanbul we already said we're doing that. Maybe I'll be home when school starts. Maybe not. Probably will though, if we're being honest. And I heard thats the best policy.



Middle Eastern Winter: Day 16?

I'm sitting in the living room. We just had a delicious dinner made from left overs. Like I said, MoLO. Ryan Adams is playing in the room. I don't particulary like what I've heard from him but the song that just played is pleasant. Good news, its warmer right now than last night. My plans for tonight are as follows: watch Dan in Real Life (don't ask how) and drink some coffee. Sam is complaining about Ryan's gas problem. Ryan has awful gas and he has no problem letting you know. Maybe I shouldn't share that over the internet. Too late.

I haven't listened to much music lately but what I have been listening to has been superb. Jose Gonzalez and the Across the Universe soundtrack have been what I've been playing when I put my earphones in. Sweet music.

This morning I broke the 10 am streak. I woke up at 6:45 am instead. That wasn't the greatest but such is life. We went north today to check some ruins and similar stuff out. We had a great breakfast this morning consisting of walnut wheat pancakes and eggs. Yummy. Eggs are great no matter what country you're in. The first stop this morning was this area that overlooked this valley and the Sea of Galilee. It was awesome, but that probably didn't need to be said. I could see Palestine too. The other places were cool too, but I don't really want to talk about it all that much.

Its been interesting learning about the history of this part of the world. Both modern and Biblical. It hasn't really hit me yet how historical this land is. I saw the sea that Jesus walked on today. I walked where Jesus walked today. I'm seen things that are dated in some of the earliest parts of history. I'm 40 miles from Jesus' birthplace. I'm 3 hours from Damascus, the world's oldest populated city. Hm.


(Taken from my hostel in Cairo.)


Middle Eastern Winter: Day 15?

Needless to say, my feet are pretty cold. And I have socks on too.


I haven't got out of bed before 10 am yet this week. Its bittersweet. If you think thats bad though, I've deemed Sam, Sleepy McSleepersen. Personally, he is the one I'd worry about. Always sleeping in around 12ish and lying around and such.

There is this video shop right up the street from the apartment. One of the co-owners, Adham, is really cool. He is 24, I think. We go there once a day and just talk to him. We've bought a couple movies from him too. He likes to desrcibe movies he likes as 'magnificent.' That makes the way he talks very sophisticated. He says we are always welcome there and the second time we went there he proposed that we stay in touch once we leave. Obviously, he's a great guy.

My feet are only getting colder, by the way. Dang.

We're going a little north tomorrow to check out some stuff farther up. I think in two days, we'll be going to the Dead Sea. Maybe I'll get in so I can float around a little.

I also believe the Cannons are some of the best users of left-overs. For Christmas, we had turkey. Yesterday for lunch, we had turkey salad. Today for lunch, we had barbeque turkey pizza. All the meals tasted great. We had some chicken and vegetables tonight. After dinner, there was talk of a chicken noodle soup another time. They are masters of left-overs. Or for short, MoLO.


(These were taken on the bus ride from the port in Nuweiba to Cairo. That sucked.)


MIddle Eastern Winter: Day 13? (Merry Christmas, Again)

Today was a great day. I slept in until 10, which is something I've never done on Christmas. After that, I sat around for a couple of hours, in which I did various things. Around 12 we sat down to read the Christmas story and pray. Then we opened presents. Sam's parents got Ryan and I five little things each. They got us the same stuff. So when were opening our presents, half the time we knew what it was because one of us had already opened it. It was fun though and I was thankful for it nonetheless. We ate after that. Dot dot dot. We didn't do much after that. Ryan and I went on a walk around 6. We saw a Teletubby at KFC. Weird, funny, and scary all at the same time. Skip a little more time and then we get to the fun part. I wanted to take family Christmas pictures, so when we finally got around to doing them the power went out. Figures. However, it turned out better than I probably ever could have planned it though. Once the power went out, we got candles out to supply light and the rest is history. Or at least thats what they say.


*Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

*When I say 'our' I don't actually mean this is my family. However, at the current moment they are my family. Don't worry real family, I have not forgotten about you.


Middle Eastern Winter: Day 12? (Merry Christmas)

Here is the post most have been waiting for. Yesterday on our way back from Aqaba, we visited Petra. If you don't know what Petra is, shame on you. Google it. It was amazing. Probably the coolest thing I've seen so far.


(In chronological order of course, from LA to Aqaba, Jordan)

(LAX to Downtown Amsterdam to Dowtown Amman to Being Forced To Try Stuff On to A Taxi Ride to Aqaba Waiting for a Ferry)

I hope to post pictures, in chronological order, from the rest of the trip until now. That will be a lot though. We'll see.


Middle Eastern Winter: Day 11? (Jordan)

I typed this out a few days ago, but it screwed up and didn't post. It saved though. I decided to post it anyways. I'll post a more recent update soon.

Middle Eastern Winter: Day 8? (Jordan)

I apologize beforehand. There will be no pictures again. Possibly one day.


We came back to Jordan today. We began to realize that we were running low on money and decided to journey back a day early. All the museum and other sight seeing tickets begin to add up. I do believe I liked Cairo. However, the travel experience to and from has tainted Egypt for me. Maybe I will give her a try in the future. I'm glad to be back in Jordan though. Its nice. After Egypt, I feel at home here, even though I had only been here for two days before we left. We will be in Aqaba, a coastal city, for the next couple of days. We'll also be traveling to Petra soon. I've got to go though. You know how it is with internet cafes and such. Have a merry Christmas if we don't talk before then. It doesn't even feel like Christmas is in 4 days, if you were wondering. Its probably the area of the world I'm in. Figures.


Middle Eastern Winter: Day 5? (Egypt)

Well we're in Cairo, Egypt right now. All our flights we're good and everything went smooth. We had a six hour layover in Amsterdam and even left the airport and went into the city. Amsterdam is, probably, one of the easiest countries to get into. We spent about 3 hours in the city before heading back to the airport. [Speed forward some amount of hours] We landed in Amman Friday night. Sam's parents were there to meet us at the airport. Its been fun being with his parents. Its neat to see where he gets some of the stuff he does. We spent Saturday and Sunday in Amman. We left for Cairo at 4am Monday morning. I'm going to skip all the details... but... our hour ferry ride across the Red Sea took an hour and a half, the ferry was supposed to leave at 12, but didn't leave until 1:30, we waited on the ferry in the port in Egypt for an hour too long, and our bus ride to Cairo was 7 hours. All in all, the trip to Cairo took about 20 hours. Today we went to the Egyptian Museum. It was really neat seeing stuff from so long ago. Some cool things we saw were mummies and two of King Tut's coffins.We just took the rest of the day and explored Cairo a little bit. Saw the Nile. Now I'm sitting in an internet cafe talking (kind of) to you. I have a lot of pictures, but I don't have means of getting them online at this moment. I'll try to continue this conversation soon, but until then, salaam alaikum.


MIddle Eastern Winter: Pre-trip (-4 hours)

Well this is my last pre-trip post.

I had coffee after dinner and at 11:45 pm. I went running at 1:30 am. I am ridiculously tired nonetheless. We're trying to get our bodies accustomed to Jordanian time and it sucks. I shouldn't go to sleep for another [at least] 7-8 hours, but I can't say that I'm gonna make it. I've got to take a shower now. My dad is gonna be on his way to take us to LAX.


That looks like a lot of stuff. To my defense, most of the stuff in the suitcase is not mine. My backpack, which has most of my clothes, is packed in the duffle bag. The other two bags are carry-ons. Take that.


Rainy Day

Lately, I haven't been in too much of a mood to talk to online-rs. I've just felt like showing some pictures. This is what last week's rainy day produced.

Others posted on Flickr.


Digital Paintings

So, coffee doesn't normally do all that much to me. Tonight, however, it has kept my mind running. Lucky for you.

I like to call these digital paintings because they are shot without a lens and end up turning out like a painting. I don't suggest doing this, as I do not know how good it is for your camera, but I like it. I saw Tyler do this and had to try it out.