Hot Stuff!

Aqaba, Jordan

There’s a warm wind that brings spring over the mountains into northern Switzerland called the “Föhn,” which is also the word they use for ‘hair-dryer.’ It’s phonetically almost identical to the Arabic word for ‘oven.’ Wikipedia says they’re not related, but either word – hair-dryer or oven – would have described the weather when I stepped out of the Central Bank of Jordan after my classes this evening.

Similar winds have swept over from the Negev before in the weeks I’ve been in Aqaba. They usually come in the evening, often carrying a dusty haze, and generally presage a miserable next day. Tonight’s wind, however, was the most intense of this past month. In addition to being heavy with dust, and smotheringly hot, it also smelled exactly like the super-heated air that comes out of a hair-dryer!

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