Dining Beneath a Weed

Today, in homage to the bedouin heritage upon which Jordan is built, we lunched in the paltry shade of a weed in the middle of the desert. It wasn't my first choice -- I would've preferred BK ("One Whopper, only ketchup, please").

This reminds me of when Burger King used to sell Whoppers for 99 cents. It was so sweet to be able to just mug a lower-middle-class 2nd grader playing Pokeman out on the sidewalk and use the booty to buy a Whopper. Now I don't even know how much Whoppers are in the States, but I bet you have to mug a 4th or 5th grader, or at least a 2nd grader whose mom sucks at math and so gives him too much lunch money, to net enough for a Whopper. And you'd probably have to steal his bike and pawn it if you want fries and a Coke. It's all wrong. Juvenile delinquency just isn't worth it anymore. Lame.

Back to us supping beneath a weed (versus on weed -- we say no to hemp in our family, Dave Matthews Band be darned). The kids were complaining, after an hour and a half in the car on today's sight-seeing excursion, that they were hungry. Fine, said Shannon and I. We'll eat when Grace wakes up from her nap. Grace woke up at 11:56 a.m. (hottest part of the day) in the middle of Wadi Araba (the flaming desert, with no shade for miles). But, being parents of our word (and being somewhat hungry ourselves), we pulled off the highway, searched for shade, and found a weed. So there we hunched and munched on hummus and bread. My middle name is now Mustafa. But I wish it were Mufasa. Oooooh... say it again.

So, what was our destination today, you ask? Actually, you're probably not asking, but let's pretend you were, and that you care about the answer. Let's also pretend that you're actually reading this, and that you're not just my imaginary friend Chauncy.

Today our destination was the Feinan copper mines, which are quite possibly the world's oldest known copper mines. They began operation around 8500 B.C. and ran until all the trees in the whole country were gone. I don't know how long that took; who do you think I am, Walter Mondale? I just thought it'd be cool if I worked Walter Mondale into this post.

Well, we never actually found the mines, despite off-roading around the desert in the general vicinity for a couple hours. We did, however, find a leaky hose and tire tracks that, if followed, dead end into a pod of four or five bedouin family tents. That was kind of awkward: large SUV tears over a rise and into the midst of goat hair tents. Shoeless children and women swathed entirely in black burkas look curiously on as large SUV grinds to a halt, then sheepishly executes a five-point turnaround. A few dirty donkeys bray and swat at flies with their tails as SUV lopes away.

We also found the "Feinan Ecolodge." It's actually fairly cool, as far as ecolodges go, and I don't know how far that is; who do you think I am, Patrick Swayze? By the time we reached the lodge, we were really hungry, and the place looked fairly modern and clean, despite the fact that it's miles away from any paved roads. So we asked some of the guys hanging around the place if we could have some food. Sure, they said. In an hour. We didn't want to wait an hour, so we made like we were getting back in our car, with every intention of driving into the mountains and using our spare tire and windshield wiper blades to slay lizards and roadrunners for sustanence. Our ruse worked, because they had grub ready in 15 minutes. I can still taste the fried cauliflower when I burp. Delectible. And, yes, I had to look up how to spell cauliflower. And I still feel secure enough to wear pink shirts.