Fauna: in a city with near zero green space and 20 million people, you think it be limited, but it is everywhere you look. The geckos who welcomed us so abruptly when we arrived have become
our friends. Yes, they scare the bejeezus out of me when the scurry away when I open a cabinet door, but they cause us no harm and eat the mosquitos.
lizards fly and we totally disregarded them, until one day we watched one climb a tree in our yard and soar across the lawn into another tree. It was the darndest thing. And now we see it all the time.
The dozens of sights I’ve seen and the millions of sights I haven’t. I’ll miss the beauty, the uniqueness and the history of this place. Once could spend a lifetime here and see something new every day, I’m sure. And that is all rapidly changing whether by neglect or progress. It won’t be the same again forever.
The people, who are generally kind and considerate. They are also seriously proud maybe to their detriment. Insisting on doing things their way even when solutions lie in front of them. Take, for instance, the Uber drivers who, despite the power of a GPS on their dash and turn-by-turn directions in a native language, insist on orbiting my neighborhood in ever shrinking circles until they find my house!
Motorbikes. Though a scourge upon the traffic scene with their blatant disregard for laws and
sidewalks and their platelet-like way of clotting routes for the rest of us, I marvel and the efficiency of all that can be done/carried on the back of one. Texting, sleeping, even breastfeeding an infant. Balloons, live goats, hundreds of pounds of ice, small furniture. All can be carried with some seat space and some raffia twine to lash it. It is still a source of entertainment.
The hustle. Just the sheer hustle of people here. You don’t need a lot to survive here. Food is cheap. Clothing can be cheap. Shelter is as little as a tarp and a bench. It may not be easy, but you can survive if you hustle for that last little bit. From the parking hawkers, to the Momma Jockeys, to the rag pickers, to the street musicians. They’ll take a handout if it’s offered, (They may even take your hand), but few are looking for a handout. Everyone is constantly hustling. It can often be frustrating, maddening at times, but they’re all trying to make their way in the world.
My papaya tree. Planted from a seed,to a pot, to our yard, I’ve watched it grow daily. It’s still quite small and I’ll never see fruit. This papaya tree only ever has 12 or 13 broad green leaves at a time. A new one sprouts out the top, and the lowest one yellows and falls off. Losing one leaf perhaps once or twice a week. In an age where things move in a flash and lives change in an instant, I think there is a good value in measuring time by the leaves of a papaya tree.
Keep an eye out for Secret Asian Man’s continuing ventures in Jordan.