Archive for September, 2005


Watching burned copies of films in Jordan may just be a great way to get a flavor of home every now and then, but unfortunately it doesn’t always leave the best taste in one’s mouth.
Some fellow Fulbrighters bought a burned copy of The Interpreter on the oh-so-present bootleg market here in Amman. The disk popped up as being blank, which was a let down after settling in for our nightly movie session, but considering a bootleg copy of a Hollywood “blockbuster” is only $2, well, one isn’t losing their school loan payments in a botched film purchase.
As a friend here said, “Life in Amman must always have a plan B.” This may be a bit of self-incrimination, but I just happen to have a Plan B bootleg copy of “OutFoxed.” Truthfully I’ve watched Fox news about as much as I’ve watched reruns of All My Children, so my knowledge of the channel only comes in the facts. For instance I know it’s owned by Rupert Murdoch and is watched by a large chunk of American television audience. What I didn’t know was the content on the news station itself.
If you watch Fox, don’t watch Fox, or know someone who watches Fox, you should see this movie, actually, if you have a heart beat you should see it. Regardless of its slant, the documentary shows a section of the American media that is increasingly popular and amazingly destructive. !Warning! If you have high blood pressure be sure to watch this film in the close proximity of a defibrillator.

Clothing Optional

After a bike ride (Lau chose to rollerblade) away from the city of Utrecht and through a small section of Holland countryside, we arrived at a small man-made lake. As you ride down the bike path around the lake you come to these individual hidden coves. Some are nude, others are clothing optional. We chose to keep our clothes on even though Lau said if we weren’t with him he would have chosen to go nude. As comfortable as we were with Lau, the prudent ways of American life are hard to overcome.
An amazing part of Holland is the infrastructure set up for bicycles. The trip to this lake was an easy five miles from our place inside the city. We, of course, road bikes. There are bike paths on every road, including beside highways. These paths have mini bike stoplights, yield signs and individual lanes. Bikes rule the streets.

Dutch Days

Thanks to these two wonderful people who put up with us for a week in Utrecht, Netherlands, we fell in love with their country, culture, them and a breakfast of fresh bread, cheese and processed meats. Laurens and Paula are two of the greatest people on earth. Thank you Lau and Pau for an amazing week.