I Moved to Jordan


Amman-2.jpgAmman-2.jpg

amman, jordan, cityscapeKail and I arrived to Amman last week. I start my job next week, so I’ve had a few days to not quite unpack — no ETA on when our various belongings from the U.S. (including our car), Afghanistan or El Salvador will arrive — but settle in and get to know our neighborhood in Amman. So far, this seems like a great place to call home for the next four years.First Day of Work - AmmanFirst day of school work!Our first full day here, Kail went to work and I worked on trying to get our internet set up, unpacking the groceries our social sponsors kindly stocked for us and doing homework, laundry and other chores that somehow kept me busy enough that I never left the apartment. Also: I had no phone, no idea where anything is and no sense of the security situation.I have since learned that, unlike our previous tours (high street crime in San Salvador, high threat of terrorism in Kabul), Amman is safe. I mean, regionally, Jordan doesn’t have the best neighbors. But in terms of just walking around — we can walk to the grocery store and go running! — it is safe.As a woman, I wouldn’t necessarily go walking around at night alone, but keeping in mind cultural norms (conservative dress, not smiling at men — which in the U.S. would be totally normal and polite, to smile at, say, a taxi driver or convenience store clerk — so as not to give them the wrong impression) it’s a much safer environment.foreign service housing, amman, jordan, drexel heritage, living room, dining roomNothing says home like Drexel Heritage furniture.We’ve ventured out on our own a few times: to the grocery store, a nearby mall, a hardware store, a shawarma place. I think until our car gets here and we start driving around, we really won’t have a good sense of where things are. I’ve had to go to the Embassy a few times for various check-in briefings and events, and I’ve ventured out into the city with our sponsors on a mini driving tour as well as a CLO trip. But unless I’m driving (or walking), it’s hard to remember where to turn and what street is what, because everything kind of looks the same — and street names generally aren’t used here.My first impression was that Amman reminded me of what little I’d seen of Kabul. It’s the desert: hot, brown and dusty. I’ve since been told that this is the (usually) short time of year when there are dust storms, and that this summer has been unusually warm. Most Jordanians don’t use their air conditioning because it’s temperate (and clean) enough to leave your windows open. So I’m looking forward to clean air and blue skies.We can hear the call to prayer and church bells from our apartment. We also can hear what we thought was an ice cream truck — a familiar playful jingle — but what ended up being a truck selling propane tanks, which makes several rounds through the neighborhood each day. It’s very disappointing.Luckily, the grocery stores here — notably, Carrefour — have pretty good selections of not only ice cream but yogurt and cheese. Oh, the cheese.Overall, both Kail and I are glad to be settling into a routine and starting to have a “normal” life. I’ll probably be writing less, what with the whole working-full-time-and-going-to-school thing, but I do have a few posts queued up from our time in Singapore (yes, still writing about our R&R to Australia, New Zealand & Singapore!), our “rest stop” in London and highlights from home leave.How is your “back to school” season going?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

3 thoughts on “I Moved to Jordan

  1. Your disappointing not-an-ice-cream-truck story had me chuckling! Nothing like a hopes-dashed feeling to take the wind out of your sails — but I’m sure you will find a place in town for your fix! We got to visit Jordan and fell in love with the country and its people. Hoping you have a great couple of years there and we are looking forward to your stories and insights!

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