MIL in from Jordan

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  • BehindBlueI's

    Grandmaster
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    Oct 3, 2012
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    My MIL is visiting us. She lives in Jordan and this is the first time she's been in Indiana. She is well traveled, as her late husband (my FIL) was a manager or executive at various airlines in the Middle East. I've told his story elsewhere and won't repeat it here, but essentially it's an amazing success story of Palistinian refugee who worked his way to great success and bought educations for much of his family along the way to seed success for them as well. I'm learning much more of her story, but today I was driving her around to show her 'green spaces' around the city, as my wife said she really enjoys them. She's been to the redwoods in California, mountain lakes in Europe, etc so this is not her first time out of the arid lands of the Middle East by any stretch.

    She *loves* Indiana. We are "as pretty as California but much cheaper" and have "so much open land". I drove her around Eagle Creek and it's tough to do it justice how she described it, but she made me appreciate a place I already love even more. "The people of this city must thank God and (parks department) every hour for this wonder." I didn't have the heart to tell her how much we just take these places for granted due to the relative abundance here. "Americans are so respectful, they are better Muslims than Jordanians even if they don't know Islam." This, by the way, was in reference to people not driving like insane a-holes with cataracts and a strong urge to get to a bathroom at all times, which is the default method of driving in Jordan.

    Before, we've visited her in Jordan (or Qatar) so it's the first time I've been on 'home turf' and played tour guide instead of tourist. I'm having a blast with her.
     

    tim87tr

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    Jul 3, 2010
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    That's a nice story and a MIL you can learn a lot from. We enjoy speaking to and learning from people of other Countries and cultures in our travels in the US and hope to travel abroad some day. What a great trip to visit Qatar, I could only imagine. Eagle Creek is a nice area. I used to do some multisport events there years ago and took my wife there when we first met to hike about 6 years ago. Sounds like you have a great MIL who really enjoys life.
     

    phylodog

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    58   0   0
    Mar 7, 2008
    17,976
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    Arcadia
    My MIL is visiting us. She lives in Jordan and this is the first time she's been in Indiana. She is well traveled, as her late husband (my FIL) was a manager or executive at various airlines in the Middle East. I've told his story elsewhere and won't repeat it here, but essentially it's an amazing success story of Palistinian refugee who worked his way to great success and bought educations for much of his family along the way to seed success for them as well. I'm learning much more of her story, but today I was driving her around to show her 'green spaces' around the city, as my wife said she really enjoys them. She's been to the redwoods in California, mountain lakes in Europe, etc so this is not her first time out of the arid lands of the Middle East by any stretch.

    She *loves* Indiana. We are "as pretty as California but much cheaper" and have "so much open land". I drove her around Eagle Creek and it's tough to do it justice how she described it, but she made me appreciate a place I already love even more. "The people of this city must thank God and (parks department) every hour for this wonder." I didn't have the heart to tell her how much we just take these places for granted due to the relative abundance here. "Americans are so respectful, they are better Muslims than Jordanians even if they don't know Islam." This, by the way, was in reference to people not driving like insane a-holes with cataracts and a strong urge to get to a bathroom at all times, which is the default method of driving in Jordan.

    Before, we've visited her in Jordan (or Qatar) so it's the first time I've been on 'home turf' and played tour guide instead of tourist. I'm having a blast with her.
    It’s awesome to hear that some people can still look beyond the politics and see that we really aren’t all that much different when it comes to what is right and what is wrong. We’ve more in common than not by a large proportion.
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    Oct 3, 2012
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    That's a nice story and a MIL you can learn a lot from. We enjoy speaking to and learning from people of other Countries and cultures in our travels in the US and hope to travel abroad some day. What a great trip to visit Qatar, I could only imagine. Eagle Creek is a nice area. I used to do some multisport events there years ago and took my wife there when we first met to hike about 6 years ago. Sounds like you have a great MIL who really enjoys life.

    Qatar kind of sucks, TBH. I lived there for two years. It's very small (1/4 the size of Indiana and most of that is uninhabited desert) and there's just not much there. Plus it's Death Valley heat + Midwest humidity or worse. Kind of a miserable climate. But there's money to be made there.

    Jordan is a better visit. More temperate weather, and a lot more attractions and historical sites. It's troubled these days, though. Lots of unemployment and poverty. The COVID shutdowns hit them much harder than us. My MIL said there utility bills have skyrocketed, food is expensive, the cities shut the water off for weeks as there's either a lack of maintenance parts or water in the cisterns and people have to pay for water to be trucked in, which the poor can't afford. Suicide rates are increasing dramatically among the youth. Honestly, it's got to be prime breeding grounds for extremism now if the gov't isn't careful. A recruiter offering bread, water, and a sense of purpose would ensnare many.

    She is really fun to hang out with even if we have to break out Google Translate fairly often. I'm remembering more and more of my Arabic, but really all I can tell is the topic of conversation, not the details. She understands me in English most of the time, but she's out of practice and it takes her awhile to think of words. My favorite puzzle so far has been "tree heater". She couldn't remember the word for "wood" and was trying to describe a wood fireplace. It was hours later when I finally figured out the green fruit with black specks was a kiwi. It was a good description, I just forgot kiwis existed.

    Her view of the US is rosier than reality, but it's selection bias. She's not been exposed to the seedier side of life here. But it's fun to see the country through her eyes. She's incredibly charitable and optimistic.
     

    dlandersson

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    1   0   0
    Sep 20, 2019
    104
    28
    Hammond
    My MIL is visiting us. She lives in Jordan and this is the first time she's been in Indiana. She is well traveled, as her late husband (my FIL) was a manager or executive at various airlines in the Middle East. I've told his story elsewhere and won't repeat it here, but essentially it's an amazing success story of Palistinian refugee who worked his way to great success and bought educations for much of his family along the way to seed success for them as well. I'm learning much more of her story, but today I was driving her around to show her 'green spaces' around the city, as my wife said she really enjoys them. She's been to the redwoods in California, mountain lakes in Europe, etc so this is not her first time out of the arid lands of the Middle East by any stretch.

    She *loves* Indiana. We are "as pretty as California but much cheaper" and have "so much open land". I drove her around Eagle Creek and it's tough to do it justice how she described it, but she made me appreciate a place I already love even more. "The people of this city must thank God and (parks department) every hour for this wonder." I didn't have the heart to tell her how much we just take these places for granted due to the relative abundance here. "Americans are so respectful, they are better Muslims than Jordanians even if they don't know Islam." This, by the way, was in reference to people not driving like insane a-holes with cataracts and a strong urge to get to a bathroom at all times, which is the default method of driving in Jordan.

    Before, we've visited her in Jordan (or Qatar) so it's the first time I've been on 'home turf' and played tour guide instead of tourist. I'm having a blast with her.
    I spent two years in Tabuk, KSA in the 90's. I (really everybody) used to drive up to Jordan on the weekends and stay in Amman. Wonderful people, lots to see and do. Glad your MIL like gods country at this end. :)
     

    HoughMade

    Grandmaster
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    0   0   0
    Oct 24, 2012
    33,423
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    Valparaiso
    A friend of mine is Palestinian, originally from East Jerusalem. He won a scholarship from Jordan's Ministry of Health to go to medical school in Greece. So, he learned to speak Greek for medical school. He still converses in Greek with the local Region Greek-speakers (and there are not few). After medical school, he went to Jordan and practiced medicine. He then emigrated to the U.S. and completed residencies in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Critical Care at 3 different universities. He now has a nice cardiology practice in the Region. Great family. Smart kids going to the best colleges.

    Stories like his are inspiring. Knowing him and us being from such different backgrounds and different religions, but being good friends, I have learned so much and it has brought home that our similarities across the world are pretty profound.
     

    mmpsteve

    Real CZ's have a long barrel!!
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    8   0   0
    Nov 14, 2016
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    near the Wild Turkey
    Qatar kind of sucks, TBH. I lived there for two years. It's very small (1/4 the size of Indiana and most of that is uninhabited desert) and there's just not much there. Plus it's Death Valley heat + Midwest humidity or worse. Kind of a miserable climate. But there's money to be made there.

    Jordan is a better visit. More temperate weather, and a lot more attractions and historical sites. It's troubled these days, though. Lots of unemployment and poverty. The COVID shutdowns hit them much harder than us. My MIL said there utility bills have skyrocketed, food is expensive, the cities shut the water off for weeks as there's either a lack of maintenance parts or water in the cisterns and people have to pay for water to be trucked in, which the poor can't afford. Suicide rates are increasing dramatically among the youth. Honestly, it's got to be prime breeding grounds for extremism now if the gov't isn't careful. A recruiter offering bread, water, and a sense of purpose would ensnare many.

    She is really fun to hang out with even if we have to break out Google Translate fairly often. I'm remembering more and more of my Arabic, but really all I can tell is the topic of conversation, not the details. She understands me in English most of the time, but she's out of practice and it takes her awhile to think of words. My favorite puzzle so far has been "tree heater". She couldn't remember the word for "wood" and was trying to describe a wood fireplace. It was hours later when I finally figured out the green fruit with black specks was a kiwi. It was a good description, I just forgot kiwis existed.

    Her view of the US is rosier than reality, but it's selection bias. She's not been exposed to the seedier side of life here. But it's fun to see the country through her eyes. She's incredibly charitable and optimistic.

    What a wonderful story! Very heartwarming. Just curious, does she have any interest in going to the range?

    .
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    Oct 3, 2012
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    She is going to be living with you soon, you just don't know it yet.

    She's wecome to and I've told her that for years.

    That said: She's got a 5 story home in Jordan, she's pretty unlikely to move anywhere as long as her health allows her to live in her own home. She just renovated it as well, so she's planning to stay. As far as the US, she likes it here but she doesn't feel at home here and would live with one of her sons still in the ME before moving in with us or her sons in the US.
     

    NHT3

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    Apr 12, 2009
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    South of the 465 loop
    Thanks BBI you have brought back wonderful memories for me of when my ex-wife's parents (from Ukraine} came to visit a couple of times. They were very appreciative and amazed by what they experienced here.. I took my FIL to Plainfield shooters supply and although his English was very limited he just got a very big grin on his face, shook his head and said "America". When my MIL was asked what surprised her the most she quickly replied, "the greeter at Wal-Mart". She explained that she couldn't believe they would pay someone to stand at the door and greet people.. They were a joy in every sense of the word for the entire visit.
    The people that have never experienced travel to Russia, Ukraine, Jordan, Israel ETC. have difficulty appreciating what a paradise we enjoy in America. It truly is the land of the free and home of the brave.
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    Oct 3, 2012
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    Today we took her to my old property, showed her the land my grandparents used to own at various times, took her through the Clark Co Forestry, and then over to Loogootee to eat at Stoll's Lakeview. This lead to a conversation, mostly through my wife, as to who the Amish are. She knew them from TV what they looked like but wanted to know if they were Muslim or Jews since they had beards and wore long sleeves. I told her no, they were Christians but rejected modern technology for reasons I wasn't clear on. Then she wanted to know if they were Americans, and I said yes but like all of us were from Europe originally. Then if there were any black Amish people (I suppose there could be but I've never seen any) and if there were very many of them (no, not a lot).

    Other questions: Where are the Mexicans? (Her sons in the US live in California, she sort of assumed an equal distribution of Hispanic people)

    Are there bears? (No, not in Indiana with very rare exception)

    Is this still Indiana? (Yes)

    But no bears? (No, no bears.)

    (To my wife: If she wants to see bears we can take her to the zoo or to Wilstem. Wife: She doesn't want to see bears. She's afraid of bears, I think my brother told her about bears in California and freaked her out a little.) MIL says she can see bears, but from far away. I agree this is the smarter way to see bears, because they are bears. Bear talk goes on for awhile. Bears like cookies....everyone likes cookies.
     

    dprimm

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    Jan 13, 2013
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    Just West of Indianapolis
    I am really curious about the food situation over there. Jordan imports so much - esp grain. What does she see for the next year or two? I get that it is expensive- and I don’t recall what % gets imported - but what is/ is not available that normally is?

    What does she hear about the Russia/Ukraine situation? China? Really curious what other places are hearing.

    What a great sounding visit
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    28   0   0
    Oct 3, 2012
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    I am really curious about the food situation over there. Jordan imports so much - esp grain. What does she see for the next year or two? I get that it is expensive- and I don’t recall what % gets imported - but what is/ is not available that normally is?

    What does she hear about the Russia/Ukraine situation? China? Really curious what other places are hearing.

    What a great sounding visit

    She said food has gotten expensive and poor people don't know what to do. She said the poor can only afford meat maybe twice a month. Everything that's normally available is still available, just at much higher prices and the quality has lessened. She said the chicken has a bad smell now and you have to wash it thoroughly before cooking it.

    We haven't really talked politics other than her saying the world would be better if the US governed it all. Neither of us is equipped for any sort of philosophical talk in the other's primary language and I don't interject much when her and my wife are talking.
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    28   0   0
    Oct 3, 2012
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    I am really curious about the food situation over there. Jordan imports so much - esp grain. What does she see for the next year or two? I get that it is expensive- and I don’t recall what % gets imported - but what is/ is not available that normally is?

    What does she hear about the Russia/Ukraine situation? China? Really curious what other places are hearing.

    What a great sounding visit

    So Ukraine came up organically last night. She didn't go into much more detail, but it seems most of Jordan agrees Russia is the villian in the matter and they blame them for the higher prices on wheat and gasoline.
     
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