TGIT

Trip Start Aug 24, 2009
1
7
66
Trip End May 24, 2010


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Flag of Jordan  ,
Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wow. Let me first reflect on last night. Devan and I met up with Adib, Firas, and Mohammad at a hotel near where we live for bowling. I think 14 was the heaviest ball they had which was weird. So all these guys at the bowling alley are using like 10s and 12s, etc and basically underhand pitching these balls down the lanes. It was slightly scary because one guy released it behind him by accident and I thought someone was going to die. It was fun overall though, even if my score was a pitiful two digits that I wish not to keep record of. Then we walked to Lebnani Snack for shish tawook and cocktails (which in this country always means a fruit drink...like a smoothie without the dairy products). My wrap was so weird. I thought it tasted like tuna until I realized that was because they used mayo on it. Ick. We had a good time though, just laughing and trying to practice what little Arabic I know. I really need to take classes but Ramadan is apparently not the time to arrive in the Middle East so i have to wait until October.

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Today:

I began my journey to work at 9:30 am since I was trying to cash a traveler's check before hand but the hours of business are all messed up during Ramadan. So 9:30. Amman sort of developed around eight circles that head from east to west (they are basically roundabouts that serve as landmarks). I live between the 5th and 4th circle and my internship is past the 8th circle. So in order to save some cab fare I thought I would walk a bit...maybe just to the 5th circle, and catch a cab there. Luckily for me I was walking the same way as this woman who is from Poland and has lived here 15 years with his Jordanian husband and she introduced me to the bus system of Amman! I was so glad about this because it is a lot cheaper but the Americans I am living with hadn't taken them and couldn't really help me figure out how it works. So after a lot of sweating and two full buses passing us up, we got on a small bus with no a/c for a 1/4 of the price of a cab (plus the bus actually gives you change...holy crap...whereas the cabs always try to say they don't have any). Then we bused to the 8th circle where we parted ways because she was headed to the grocery store and I had to go the other way. At this point I had to cross the roundabout twice because I needed to turn left at the circle and let me just say this takes talent, luck, insanity, or a combination of them all. Traffic lights are not abundant and like the roundabout in Sterling Heights it gives off the general air that you could die at any moment. Since I am typing this from the intern office and not a hospital please note that I survived without a scratch. From the circle my work might be like a mile and a half...I'm not sure really. 

So I walk and walk and walk and walk. This is walking on the side of the road by the way, through dust and sand and broken glass (like the Super Highway in Chiang Mai). Past random fruit sellers who are looking at me like I am crazy just journeying in no man's land. For a moment I got nervous I might be going the wrong way and I thought I would call the office but as fate would have it (don't pay attention to this part mumsie), I forgot my phone at the apartment. at that point I decided to show a fruit vendor my notes that I show a cabbie and just hope that it made sense to him. It appeared to and he said "1 kilo" as he motioned in front of me and then "left" as he motioned to the right. I was very grateful for the reassurance and trekked my kilo to the intersection and turned right. YEA! I recognized things and knew the office was close. So the journey was successful and only took about on hour. Haha, but I showed up with crazy messed up hair, disgustingly dirty feet, smelling like car exhaust, and sweating through my shirt like a warthog. It was quite a funny sight. Then I get here and my boss isn't here again. Oy. Arab style communication is going to take an adjustment for this American girl.

Thanks goodness it's Thursday! By the way they have TGIFriday's in the tourist area here and I find it very culturally insensitive that they haven't altered their name, lol.

 ---

Goals for the weekend include: cashing a traveler's check, grocery shopping, doing laundry, finishing moving into my room, meeting with a tutor that I called yesterday, and getting the Japanese interns to come hang out.

Things I am looking forward to for next week, inshallah: working with my boss, attending if-tar at a Jordanian home, actually helping cook before if-tar as well, and further honing my "get around town" skills.
 
Things I miss from home: Fonzi, my ceiling fan, the Honda Civic, and a paycheck. 
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Comments

gironi
gironi on

TOP DOG
Wow, Fonzi got top billing............guess that's where the phrase 'top dog' comes from.........LOL
So glad you made it to work safely. love you, Mum

tomg123
tomg123 on

Appreciation for the USA
I'm lovin' your stories! I think your mumsy may be less comfy with the 'road' adventures. I t sure must make you appreciate the conveniences of home that much more? You are so gutsy. I'm looking forward to your next day's adventure. Be well....and wash those feet! Allah Akbar(right?). Uncle tom

kurdish
kurdish on

Nice start!
That was funny reading about the adventure and how you walked and walked haha. I'm from Jordan, and I know how it can get for foreigners, but you'll get the catch of things in a fortnight! And seriously i'll be more than glad to help if you need information about anything. So, you have fun and i hope you have an awesome stay in the country.
Cheers!

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