cowboys of the desert
Over and over again I heard that Jordanians esteem the Bedouin for their grit and tradition, and the comparison made to the American cowboy. Some Jordanians are picked on if their accent isn't "Bedouin" enough.
Our guide half-bragged that he had never seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia all the way through ("I am busy, being in the desert--I am Bedouin!"), even though electricity and internet are fully available back at the Rum Village, where many live now.
Still, I heard other guides teasing ours about his clunky jeep. Its peeling paint, make-shift sunshade (a blanket), and bald tires added to the charm of our tour, in my book.
I asked for a story, or folk tale, around the camp fire. Our host struggled to offer one. Finally he offered an anecdote about a camel ride gone wrong. Occasional cultural texts struck me--like the bumper sticker on the jeep. I'm still curious to learn more about the Bedouin of Jordan's Wadi Rum.