Category: Dublin + Amman

The food court of Dublin Airport

I walked up to the hot foods counter in the food court of Dublin Airport, “can I get, uh, a ‘full Irish breakfast’? But with no toast.” The beefy looking Swedish guy behind the counter narrowed his eyes in curiosity, “where’re you from?” “Oh, Philadelphia, the US” “Nice, ya meet people from all kinds of ...

How to learn Arabic without really trying

You can’t. It’s impossible. Even native speakers struggle with it. Turn back, turn back now. When you take Spanish in an American school system, the main barrier to learning the language has less to do with the language itself and more to do with bad instruction, insufficient time, and a lack of inter-staff communication leading ...

Goldstein’s Book

When I was seven I become accustomed to the idea that people did indefensible things in the world. Thinking about it, I came to the logical conclusion that in their minds everyone thought they were the good guy. They had their way of looking at things, and only with the benefit of hindsight could the ...

Jaresh, Then and Now

Our tour group walked down a main street. It was narrow, with curbs high and tight and pillars reaching overhead, as to give the impression that we were walking in a slot canyon. This was the main street of the Roman city of Jaresh, only excavated in the 1970s. As we walked the bustle of ...

The two-colored hat

The events of today reminded me of a folk tale which I will now hamfistedly paraphrase: Two neighbors lived across the road from each other. One day, a man wearing a very tacky hat colored red on his right side and blue on his left side walked right in the middle of the two. Both ...

The Center of the World

There’s a stone temple in Turkey that’s considered the first complex structure in human history. Unearthed at Göbekli Tepe, it was originally constructed back to the 10th Millennium BCE. No older sites with such complexity or scale have been found, meaning that this would have been one of the first times the human species would ...

The End of the Yellow Brick Road

Hey, let’s tour an entire country in three days! That’s an amazing idea! It isn’t. Even though Northern Ireland is small and not even a country unto itself, it’s still going to wear you out when you try to traverse the thing and see everything there is to see in the span of 72 hours. ...