First of all, a quick shout-out to all of the people I had no idea were reading my blog before. Only one of you got your question about the identities of “Fiona” and “Sharon” answered, but it’s funny how nothing makes people come out of the woodwork like gossip. Or, the perception of possible gossip. Sorry guys.
Tremor: 4.0, Depth: 4.3 miles, Location: 3.7 kilometers from Amman, Jordan.
So far, I’ve touched on the sadness and misunderstandings leaving home, the assassination of an ambassador and its impact here in Jordan, and my horrible awkwardness with women. Hardly fluff topics, regardless of what you think of my opinion on the matter. And while this week has provided me with a litany of topics (Thanks to John, and to some extent Fiona and Sharon…), I figure I’ll take a break from our regularly scheduled depression to bring you the Top 5 Things James Took For Granted In The United States, in no particular order.
Not just water from the tap. For a large portion of my life, I’ve lived off bottled water. That’s nothing new. What is strange is how water regulates everything else. Jordan is the fourth water-poorest country in the world, which often restricts showers to a couple minutes every couple days, and laundry to a weekly routine, even living in the rich district of town.
2. Ulterior Motives
One of the first days in Amman, I went to the mall to purchase an internet card. When I arrived, I went straight to the cheapest booth in the mall, and asked. The man informed me that while they were cheap, the coverage in my area was shoddy, and I should consider another company. It blew me away that he didn’t try to take my money anyway, and sell me the bad plan. But I have come to realize that in Jordan, assistance for its own sake is a part of the culture.
3. Driving Laws
In the United States, if you reach a stop sign in the middle of nowhere at 2AM, you stop. Period. I would be surprised if half the people in Jordan could tell a stop sign from a steering wheel.
Myself and a friend were walking to a bookstore one day, when we happened upon a recycling can. It was the first we had seen in Amman, and we both proceeded to take a picture of it. I now text him every time I see a recycling can. I have texted him twice with regards to recycling cans.
5. Seedless Grapes
You probably could guess from the title of the post that this was coming. I remember biting into my first grape in Jordan two weeks ago, only to get a mouthful of seeds. Of all the things I was not prepared for, that had to be up there.
Next time, it’s back to the vain attempts at depth in these posts. John, Fiona, Sharon, and all the cast of characters yet to be revealed will be back. But sometimes, it’s good to just step back and consider the small things that make a place so different, and yet reveal the fact that those differences matter little when the big things are considered.