During my first two weeks in Jordan I have developed a few challenges/adventures that should conceivably be possible to complete during my stay. Hopefully these will provide a sort of thematic arc for my efforts.
I find myself very intrigued by the royal family here. They have an infectiously positive presence all over the city. The goal here would be to get as close as possible to the King.
My acceptance of the concept of a constitutional monarchy as a viable political system has also broken down the bonds of my American “Super Diversity Freedom Democracy Happiness” socialization. This process has been an interesting challenge.
2) Americans Abroad
Any American who has traveled abroad knows that generally our nationality provokes a pretty powerful response. I hope to explore the opinions of America held by Jordanians. In order to manifest this concept physically, I will be constructing an outfit of Jordanian clothes that are clearly targeted for American tourists. My first purchase was a horribly ugly belt buckle decorated with a big ‘ol, psychedelic, longhorn skull. Cowboy boots are next.
3) Living as a minority/Alienation
Using T.E. Lawrence as a guide I want to analyze what is it about some westerners that draws them to the harsh conditions of the Middle East. I haven’t been able to pinpoint a specific quality, but there must be some unifying characteristic that we share, some orientalist gene.