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Jordan, Travels

Amman Courthouse

I met up with Fauzi again, who had to go over to the courthouse, so I went with him, since I didn’t really feel like planning my own itinerary, and besides, how many tourists visit a courthouse? As we entered the courthouse, Fauzi asked me to give him 20JD. This is a pretty hefty sum, and its not like the courthouse was charging for admission. Fauzi was a little anxious and he didn’t have the English to explain why he needed 20JD, but it was Fauzi, and he had earlier said something about helping out a friend, so I handed him the cash.

Punchin' Out
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Civil servants hustle to clock out on a Sunday afternoon, and get home by sunset, to enjoy iftar with their families.

I followed him around, at first, as he ineffectually wandered around the bureaucracy with some paperwork. Before long, he dropped me off with a cousin who worked at the courthouse, where I sat and watched a handful of guys processing records. One chubby guy had a little bit of English that he was happy to exhaust on me. The guys all seemed pretty good-natured, and I figured that in another time or place, their counterparts would be working the IT help desk in some similarly complex organization. I spent some time reading, getting up to stretch my legs once in a while. Around 12:30, I figured that in a normal universe, I’d be out to lunch with the guys, but this is Ramadan. The courthouse was bustling with activity, so I refrained from sipping on my water, as I had no idea where I’d be able to do so out of sight of anyone on fast. Thinking on it more, it occurred to me that I was sitting in a bustling courthouse on a Sunday.

It must have been a good two hours or more, before Fauzi returned around 2 or 2:30, as the day’s work was winding down. I got the impression that he’d not met with much success, but the best he could explain to me was that he’d had to “do work”.

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Categories: Jordan, Travels