July 29, 2008

Fadl on market day.

A favorite pastime in the Arabic world is to fadl, to talk or to gossip and catch up with the news. The men in the picture seem to be having an intense fadl.

Maybe they knew that I had found a window and was lugging it along with me on my travels. If so, I am certain that they were asking each other why someone would drag trash all across the world.
In Shibam, as I was taking a picture of a goat I saw a pile of wood and part of it was a traditional window like they have in the houses all over Yemen. I bought it for $ 25.00 and a blue plastic tarp for $ 1.50.

It was a headache. The driver would sometimes throw it well out of the way hoping it would be forgotten, but it never was and the next morning someone would hand him the large blue parcel again and scowling he would pack it on top of the Landcruiser again.
We once lost a couple of parts and I sort of shrugged without interest but a fellow traveler combed the beach where we were camping until she found them.

Leaving the country the parcel remained closed. The customs had no interest. It entered the Netherlands, and no one looked up. I left Holland again and with me came the window. By now, a warm attachment had developed between my window and me. From Yemen to the Sonoran desert. From a garbage heap to my bedroom wall to remind me of the possibilities one always has even when you think you don't.


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