Just thought I’d share some more peeks of our new home town with you. We are finding that some things are very different, and others are almost too similar! We feel very comfortable here already, and I cannot wait for these kids (and us adults) to stay healthy enough for us to go do some more exploring!
We’re doing ok with the traffic. It is not as organized as traffic is in most places of the US, but it really isn’t that difficult. The roads are marked, and for the most part, set in a easy to figure out grid/pattern.
I like traffic circles vs traffic lights, and I LOVE the tunnels that let you avoid the intersections altogether!
I like that the roads are marked, and have barricades to keep cars where they are supposed to go.
I like traffic lights (except when they are red) and the fact that they are used here. How’s this for a morning rush hour?! So neat and orderly!
I try to always look on the bright side of things… and I find it quite easy to do too, especially when there are so many bright and shiny things to see… but some things are more difficult than others. Say what you will about US roads and traffic, but it is one thing I really miss when we travel. Ours may not be a perfect system, but it is darn close (IMO). I dealt with Cairo traffic, but it was tough. Our truck still bears scars from the total lack of ‘personal space’ on Egyptian roads. I’m finding Amman traffic to be sane (mostly – you, the guy who made a right turn to avoid the traffic light, then immediately cut around, through the intersection, to continue on the way you were going, you know who you are…) and for the most part, non-stressful.
Speaking of our truck – it arrived!!! Last week our Explorer came home to us. So nice to have our own vehicle again! Our first family trip was to take the cats to the vet for their first shots… poor babies. We have been going to see Dr. Ala’a Shehadeh at the Vetzone. He is good with our cats, he answers the kids’ questions, and carries a bunch of quality pet supplies and food. He has been doing some work to expand his office and we are very impressed with everything so far.
We did our grocery shopping at City Mall this past weekend. As well as being a full scale shopping mall, there is an attached Carrefour… think 'Wal-Mart superstore’ and you have Carrefour – I kinda wish it were more like a Target though! There are also a bunch of banks, media stores (for internet, wifi, etc) and mobile phone outlets. I had to do some paperwork to switch my cell phone from a pre-paid account… which would require that I spend the next 3 years chasing scratch off cards to charge my account… to a postpaid account, which is direct debited. This mall has it all in one place, so we made it an outing.
The mall is about 3-4 floors (I wasn’t actually paying close attention!) with a great variety of shops – many names that I recognize from the US and EU, others that I am just going to have to learn about here. We stopped in a Virgin music store and bought books (of course!). We had lunch at TGI-Fridays, which was very nice. The kids were hungry(!) and both polished off adult-sized meals, in addition to grabbing about half of my rice. (Really, we do feed them. I think they’re growing again.) And then we wandered. There is a good-sized food court on the top floor, a children’s fun/activity center, and there’s a movie theatre attached as well. I am not actually a huge fan of malls – to be honest, I tend to avoid them as crowded and annoying places - but I could see us spending some time at this one (small doses will be ok). Here are a few snaps from my mobile:
Brad and Brian at the restaurant.
Honor looking at the people below in the central court. There was a guy at a booth down below with a remote control helicopter – guess what Honor wants for Christmas? (Speaking of which, yes, we saw at least one store with Christmas trees already on display.)