Striking a Pose in Jerash

The Lonely Yogi doing Yoga Graffiti

We ventured out to Jerash on Friday. It’s one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the eastern Mediterranean. It was founded around 170 BC, focused around the Temple of Zeus. Jerash (or Gerasa, the ancient name for Jerash) briefly became the center of the Roman Empire in 129-130, as Hadrian wintered in the city. In his honor, the Gerasenes built a monumental arch on the southern walls.

The place is amazing and it’s very explorable. We watched the Roman Army and Chariots Experience reenactment show. I’m not much for reenactments or “interpreters,” but the chariot racing was kind of cool to see, especially in the Hippodrome.

In addition to seeing the sights, another high point of the day was haggling amongst the ruins for earrings by a young Bedouin salesman (about 10 years old) . I noticed some beautiful turquoise earrings that I fancied. I asked how much for the earrings and the next thing I knew, the earrings,  a matching necklace, and a chunky silver Bedouin bracelet appeared on my body. The young salesman held a mirror out for me to gaze at the splendor staring back at me while he offered me fabulous deals, solely because I was “such a nice lady” (in perfect English I might add). I only wanted the earrings, but they were $10 JOD and too much for Raj. After much bargaining, the young salesman wouldn’t budge. He really wanted to sell the ensemble, not the piddly earrings. Raj walked away and I followed, despairingly. Two minutes later, the salesman followed us down the path and offered to sell them for $7. Raj said, “No, $5.” To which the salesman responded, “7 is only 2 more than $5.” We got the earrings for $5. I felt guilty (poor kid). Raj felt triumphant.  I got over it.

After walking around the ruins for a couple of hours, we headed west out of Jerash to Ajloun castle, a former isolated Christian monastery home to a monk named Ajloun. By 1184, in the midst of the Crusades, the monastery had fallen into ruin, and an Arab general took the opportunity to build a fortress on the ruins.

This place was interesting to see, but someone who shall not be named was getting ‘hangry’ (hungry/angry) so we had to speed up the tour so that we could get back to Amman to get some food into someone’s belly.

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15 thoughts on “Striking a Pose in Jerash

  1. It looks amazing. It looks nicer than any Roman ruins in Rome. It is amazingly well preserved.How far from where you are living is it? Thanks for the back ground information. Your’e going all Elizabeth Gilbert on us.

  2. I like the reenactment photos. If it is close enough to your house, maybe you could get a job as an interpreter. You could consult Paul from the Freedom’s Foundation tours for tips. What was his handle? Wolfman 5 or something like that. Seriously, you’d be good. You could play a Christian about to be fed to a lion. it probably pays better than teaching at private school in Jordan. I’m getting ready to make Rick Bayless’s creampuffs, already made pistachio ice cream (don’t you miss your compressor unit) and from YOUR “Sweet Life in Paris” book that I am stealing from you, the hot fudge sauce recipe on p.204. Yum!


  3. I loved the pictures and I think you are doing a good job with the camera you have. I liked Raj’s bargaining and I liked the comment about seven dollars is only 2 dollars more than five…Maybe Bill can get that boy into copier sales..

      1. Tobie, I’m soooo sad! My sister replied to my dad but not to me. I thought my comment was very funny and she ignored it. I will be returning to my favorite blog of all time…The Pioneer Woman Cooks. So long Jen Maan in Amman.

        1. I DID write back to BOTH posts. I’m not sure why they didn’t show up so here’s an attempt at repeat responses: 1. I mentioned that the “interpreters” were men. I’d have to disguise my gender. I also mentioned that their “Roman” wigs looked like they were bought at Party City.” 2. Paul’s name was Wolfpack, not Wolfman. 3. I know you don’t need almond flour, but I can’t find blanched almonds. I can only find salted and smoked. 4. I want those cute baby cake pans that you have for my birthday.
          Go back to Pioneer woman if you want to read about puffy clouds, bunny rabbits and the Marlboro man.

          1. Thank God you’re finally awake on the other side of the world. I obsessively kept checking to see if I got a reply. I was so close to typing in The Pio… but then alleluia, my sister responded. I still think that you would make an amazing interpreter. Mikaela has a connection to costumes. You can go to Santa Ana, pay cash and get a $30 Costume Castle costume for $305 USD. Let me know if you’d like Jessy’s Bridal to hook you up with an outfit to match the Party City wigs. Do you want me to send you some “Baker’s JOy” to go with the adorable cake pans? I didn’t know that your blog was open to the public. When was the IPO?? I have decided that I am so funny and witty, that I will be a guest blogger, blogging within your blog or at least trying to one up you, since you know that I am technilogically challenged and could never figure this out on my own. “The Soul Kitchen” or whatever it was called hasn’t really taken off, so don’t be jealous if I start getting more fans than you. I’ll just ride your coattails. Oh, and don’t tell mom, she’ll get mad at me.


  4. Had I known that you were awake, I would have called you. I’ll start calling LATE after Tuesday. I forgot to mention that the “interpreters” are a guild of “actors” who mostly hail from military and police backgrounds. Maybe there’s a future for Raj or even Joey in the biz. We could be consultants and get them better wigs and maybe even choreograph the stunts a little better, i.e. the blood that spurts when the slave gladiators fight.
    I was so sad with your last reply (the one where you threatened to leave me–and you’re one of only four regular readers) that I purchased 2 mini cake pans from Amazon for ALL of the parties I’m going to have with ALL of my friends that I’ve made so far. I want to make that Penzey’s cake that you made when I was there for Raj. You’ll have to think of something else that I need. I’d still like the Le Creuset mini coquettes. They’re cute…
    Have fun teaching for America during your last two days.

  5. Not FAMILY…feeling a little left out!!! Anyone need ANOTHER DAUGHTER…or SISTER? Just asking! hahahaha


    LOVE the photos! keep em coming!

  6. Wow! 11 replies. You are starting to get popular. Now you need to start holding contests and giveaways. We blog followers love contests.

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