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Jordan - First Impressions

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After 22 hours of travel (which includes a long layover) we arrive in Amman, Jordan at 5 am. My first impression of Jordan is that people here drive like maniacs. I have since learnt that only our cabbie drives like a maniac. I was however too tired to get worried about driving on the other side of the median. We arrive in downtown Amman white knuckled and 22 JD (34 CAD) poorer. Not having booked a hostel prior, we pop into a few and bargain for a room (which consisted of us saying the hostel across the street offered less… so they matched the price) The hostel was amazing solely due to the fact that they had a bed with fluffy pillows (my less tired self would give it a neutral rating). The washroom was the only interesting feature (interesting, as in strange). It was basically a room with the toilet, a small sink and a shower spout …so taking a shower just made everything in the bathroom wet for the rest of the day.
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Amman, population 1-4 million depending what source you read, is a chaotic and crowded place. The city is built on 19 hills, so all the streets curve upwards or downwards in a way that makes it rather easy to get lost, especially if you rely on the map they provide you with at the airport. The day was spent in a jetlag haze getting lost in the buzzing streets filled with venders trying to sell you all the things you don’t need. If you’re ever in Amman try the date or fruit smoothies. Yum!
Amman is a mixture of traditional and modern. We were mostly exposed to the old city where all the shop owners are men, the crosswalks are just for decoration, the streets burst with colors of merchandise, and the stray cats roam. As we drove out of town I could see the skyscrapers, modern buildings and the yellow and blue Ikea. I have honed the perfect way to cross the street in Amman: find a relatively large local woman about to cross the street and shadow her (she likely knows what she’s doing and won’t get hit or if she does you’ll likely survive). I have however yet to discover the secret behind all the cars beeping…for the most part there seems no rhyme or reason to it, but it is unrelenting.
Fun fact of the day: Every time I introduced myself I get “Nora ahhh (stranger proudly smiling) it’s an Arabic name, did you know?” It means “light.” Have yet to tell them it’s also a Hungarian name and the name of the main character in the Swedish play “A Doll’s House” (who I was named after).

Posted by nbergh 10:28 Archived in Jordan

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