Mosaics and Dirty Old Men
Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
273Trip End Oct 08, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Our first stop in the city was at the Archaeological Park. Contrary to the sound of its name, it is not large. And it's pretty much solely a collection of mosaics from different places and periods. For good measure they've got the old Roman cardo of the city running through the middle of the park. I love mosaics and have formulated a plan to make myself a Roman bathroom, so you may eventually see a lovely mosaic floor in my house...whenever I get one of those. But really, you should look at the photos, because my descriptions will not be good.
After the museum we traipsed to the main event - a mosaic map that once contained two million tiles but is now one third its original size
Next we made our way down to the Madaba Museum, where the curator or whoever he was was so desperate for companionship that several things happened: he attached himself to me, he invited us to tea, and he got teary when we left. It was innocent enough, so although I should have called a halt to the attention I didn't really feel a need to. Travis was shooed out of the room we were in and he proceeded to ask me to take pictures of everything. Apparently he was equally as enamored of my camera as of me. This was impressive, cause I think I smelled pretty gross. Impishly my new friend sprayed with water the mosaics in his domain to darken the colors for my photos. I think this was technically not allowed. Travis returned to find my friend holding my leg while I stood on a bench for a good shot of the mosaic. He was holding my leg so I wouldn't fall and break my arm like the guy did yesterday. Hmm. But like I said, I didn't feel threatened and it wasn't terribly horribly inappropriate, so we all stayed friends.
When we were about to leave he invited us to take tea. Although he lived in the city all his life, he was a Bedouin, and you really shouldn't refuse to take tea with a Bedouin if you can help it because it has political repercussions. Besides, when we told him we had to go he got all teary
I wasn't totally comfortable with the museum experience. Like I said, I didn't feel threatened, but I knew I was in an Arab country and that Arab boundaries were crossed, and I thought I should be more wary in the future. Just because this one man was harmless didn't mean that the next one would be. It was with these thoughts in mind that I proceeded to be 100% sexually harassed.
The Church of the Apostles has a big mosaic (the largest in Jordan) that has nothing to do with any apostles. Not anymore, anyway. The thing you go to see is a medallion of a sea goddess surrounded by little sea creatures including a tiny octopus. It's very nice.
What was not very nice was the dirty old man who first tried to kiss me and then grabbed my ass and shoved me into his crotch while my husband had his back turned. I ran away. It all didn't go as I would have wished, for many reasons.
First, I should have been more careful
Second, after I said no to the kiss attempt, I should have run away immediately. By not doing so I'd left myself available for the ass grab. (Sorry Grandma, but it wasn't pretty so the words aren't gonna be either.)
Third, I should have smacked the skeezy *** and told him exactly how inappropriate his behavior was. But cowering behind Travis worked alright, too. If you don't think aggressively on the spot like me, however, you can always write to the tourism board and hope that action will be taken so it doesn't happen to other women. In the event that action is not taken, I have given you my advice
Welcome to Madaba.
A note of follow-up: We have been contacted by the tourism board of Madaba. This body does take seriously offences against tourists, which should make visitors feels safer because someone will listen to them if an incident does occur. In a case of mistaken identity, they believed that the man portrayed in a photograph in this entry was the man who harassed me. He was not. He is very friendly, only wished to make our visit happy, and we have found that comments written herein, while we believed them to be innocuous, were taken to be more sinister. I wish to apologize to this man for our rude treatment of him in this writing. I have slightly modified the entry to make it less hurtful to an individual I had no wish to hurt. As for the true culprit, because I have no image of him I can only hope that he can be identified. I suggest that if anyone else has visited and met with harassment they direct complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org.