Today is one of those typical Jordanian days in which nothing, no matter what you do, seems to go the way you want it or need it to. Far from ruining a perfectly good weekend day it simply serves to remind me that sometimes, Jordan just happens!
It has been raining consistently for the last four days and the café I’ve come to frequent on the last few Fridays is, in a word, leaking. While the sun is desperately attempting to peek through the clouds it is not enough to warm the city up enough for me to shed a layer or to type without shivering, which is kind of an issue when I need to do work on my computer. Like Denver residents often do we here in Amman were all geared up for the official beginning of spring only to be sucked back into the dregs of winter weather complete with single digit temperatures and the aforementioned rain which occasionally turns to hail.
My motivation at work yesterday wasn’t assisted by the fact that this was my view from the office- fog socked us in for the majority of the day and while my UK-born and raised boss felt right at home I could feel my brain curling up in a metaphorical ball and the familiar (if unwanted) feelings of seasonal depression kicking back in. It’s always possible to alleviate those feelings through gatherings with friends and a few good books which I’ve unfortunately raced through due to my lack of desire to hop back on my computer after staring at it for the majority of the last 3 weeks.
So I’m writing this post from my comfortable if cold post, unable to access the Wi-Fi network because it is Friday and this is Jordan. It is nearly 3pm and all the cafes around my neighborhood seemed to be running on Jordan time, which is ‘we’ll open when we feel like it’ which, of course, wasn’t anytime soon. My desire for a turkey sandwich has also been thwarted as the kitchen isn’t open (again, not anytime soon) but I’m enjoying my terrible once a week habit of Pepsi and arguilah (hookah) while I wait.
Rain tapping on the roof while I write has become the theme of the week and the Jordanian reaction to the aforementioned rain is always funny to witness. Traffic snarls that occur on a regular day become even worse and the steep hills that pepper the city become veritable rivers of muddy water. People become reluctant to function in the rain and I have to admit that, despite being from Seattle, I am jumping on board that train. All I can say is I am really glad I packed my rain boots and winter jacket, because they are being put to good use this week!
Last night I was going out with friends and had to wade through the rapidly expanding puddles to hail a cab while also attempting to not get splashed by the exuberance of drivers trying to get where they needed to go. A cab pulled over and drove me a few blocks down the road before hailing me another cab to get where I needed to go; the driver explained that he couldn’t take me, but that he didn’t want me standing in the rain longer than I absolutely had to. Arab hospitality for the win!
And now we have Wi-Fi!
Jordan in recent days has also been experiencing the aftermath of a local judge being killed at one of the Israeli border crossings; details of the story are different depending on who you ask or which article you read and both governments are trying to assess how to react in the wake of the event. Here’s a link to my friend Claire’s blog where she has told the story, saving me time and no small amount of effort in the process- http://jordanadventure.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/the-shooting-of-a-jordanian-palestinian-judgejordan-israeli-relations/. Hopefully you will enjoy her perspective on life in Amman when mine gets too Liz-oriented… 😉
*Saturday’s typical Jordan moment: I was off to find a post office in my neighborhood to open a P.O. box and to mail a couple letters. My landlord had previously given me ‘directions’ (it’s near the bakery, he says. Because I know exactly where that is.) which means I had only a vague idea of where this place was. After walking for awhile (might as well get a nice walk out of the quest on an almost-sunny Amman afternoon) I turned around, pretty sure I had missed it. Through an accidental look across the street and a bit of luck I found the elusive Jordan Post location (nowhere near a visible bakery) and walked in only to be told that I couldn’t do the two things I needed to do because the computer was broken. Typical.
‘Inshallah it will be fixed next week,’ the helpful woman told me. And I laughed and went back home. I’ll try again next Saturday.