The more remote and untraveled a place I visit, the more I find myself defined- by others and increasingly by myself- by a sense of location. Jordan, in absolute terms, is neither, particularly since Petra’s recent designation as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, but neither is it exactly Paris or a […]

In Which Forbidden Topics Are Discussed

After subsisting for two days on my Turkey goodbye-presents (fantastic olives from Berna and a bag of not-altogether-delicious cookie approximations from Yagmur), I decided last night that it was time to go in search of food. Stepping out the front door of the hotel, I noticed three things all but immediately:1. Everyone was wearing those […]

Sierra’s Celebrated and Long-Awaited Arrival in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Allaaaahu akbarrr. Allaaaaahu akbarrr. Allaaaahu akbarrr.There are a number of totally normal places to hear those words. In a mosque, for instance (or really anywhere within announcing distance of one if you happen to be in an Islamic country), or on one of those grainy videos made by people whose job description starts with T […]