Saturday, July 25, 2009

When not to wear shorts …. when you have a car crash!

It was a case of son having a guardian angel this morning as he crashed his father’s car into an electric pylon and tree on that infamous road from Tala Bay to Aqaba at 4 in the morning; a road that has claimed the lives of many bright and beautiful people. But he is fine apart from a bruised ego. His seatbelt and the airbag saved his life. The car on the other hand is a wreck – as are my nerves.

So it was a bit of light relief to learn that Son is still going around Aqaba this morning, paying fines and filling out forms, having been taken to the hospital for a medical check up. This is part of the hard lesson to learn about cars. But when he arrives at the ASEZA municipality to have a form signed at 10 that morning, he is refused entry because he is wearing knee length shorts. He is also nearly refused entry to the hospital at 11am for a medical checkup because of 'the shorts' ... the fact that he was the patient seemed to have a reluctant but effective response; he was allowed in. Never mind the fact that son cannot get back home because the house key was in the car and he can’t find the car. Nope! Not allowed in wearing shorts!

What kind of illogical reasoning came into play that allows civil servants to abuse their authority and take it to extremes of stupidity in certain circumstances such as this one? And in Aqaba of all places, where the drive to modernize and develop and attract tourists is in full swing! Have Jordanians completely lost a part of their cultural makeup once so renowned … that of hospitality to a visitor? Afterall, my son is a visitor to Aqaba …. a city that likes to think of itself as a separate entity to the rest of the country.

One would expect tax paying members of the Jordanian public to be shown more consideration regardless of what they are wearing. It is high time to have some clarity in the political discourse over issues such as this and in particular over the recent debacle of passports/green or yellow cards issued to Jordanians of Palestinian descent that seems to affect everyone going back sixty years! Clear and simplified instructions needed to be handed down to the civil servants who have to deal with the public at large. This will ensure that they leave no room for personal interpretation that leads to authoritarian extremes. Alleviating misunderstandings and confusion has to be a win-win situation.

Is that too much to ask for?

J

1 Comments:

Blogger mab3oos said...

no it is not.
I am sorry he had to go through that ignorance. I am glad he's OK, though.

Sunday, July 26, 2009  

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