Week 1 in our new home in Amman, Jordan.
Population: 6.5 million
Size: 89,000 square kilometres
Location: Jordan borders Israel/Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.
Our first week has been filled with frustration.
For example, part way through cooking our first ever meal in our new apartment, the gas turned off. Thankfully, Kara is a genius and we put boiling water into a frying pan, and then put the pot in that frying pan. A few kettles later and lunch was ready.
But the bureaucracy over here is something else. The Uni of Jordan is very difficult to figure out. It took us three visits to find a map of the uni campus, and it will have taken 4 or 5 visits to campus to sort out our registration for classes. Well, we hope it will be sorted tomorrow…
Even opening a damn bank account here is hard. You have to have many different documents, some of which we can’t get without a bank account. For example, they need our student IDs. But we cannot get those student IDs until we have paid the Uni fees. We can’t easily pay the uni fees until we have bank accounts. So we have to do an annoying work-around that takes longer.
It’s all getting done though.
We’ve also both been sick, and have been mystified by the difficulty in finding milk. We bought something that looked like milk, but was definitely not milk. It was water, with a bit of added milk, plus salt. The grocer described it as ‘off yogurt’. Damn straight it tasted off. Hopefully we find some soon.
Also, I have fairly long showers and leave no hot water for Kara. I’ll have to fix that or my wonderful girlfriend may get a bit ‘stabby’.
All of that is just typical moving into an apartment/new country type stuff, though.
Actually, we think Jordan will be great.
Our apartment is beautiful, our landlord is wonderful, and our street even has a grocer, and the owner waves to us every time we walk past.
The uni campus is not as pretty or as luxurious as ANU, but it has a certain charm to it. And we’ve found excellent places to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. We’ve even made friends with a local doctor.
We’ve also found a gym just down the street from our apartment, which is PERFECT. Typically, men and women do not go to the same gyms. This gym has split opening hours, the morning for women and the evening for men. This is because women train without headscarfs (so their hair is out). But the gym staff said Kara and I can train together during the male periods, which is great! I’ll have Kara dominating the squat rack in no time!
And yes, Kara has me curled up into some kind of pretzel every now and again too. Yoga is hard, man.
The hardest part of settling into Jordan is that we really haven’t had the opportunity to settle into Jordan yet. We are here, and we are spending lots of time out of the house, but we’re always busy trying to get something in particular done. So we really haven’t had time or energy to figure out the pace and style of Jordan itself, to get a feel for the mood, the flavours, the culture of Amman, of our particular area and for Jordan.
But we will. And we can’t wait.