Week 2 – or is it 3? No matter… more random stuff:
That Ice cream truck noise – We hear the cheery music that, back in the US, promises sweet cold treats. Here it zips along, often before we can get to the window to see what the heck it is. A work truck. We’ve been told that they deliver butane for cooking, not fudgesicles or nutty bars. We’re still trying to figure out the truck that goes around with a speaker repeating a two sentence phrase (too garbled to make out). Looks like another work truck of some sort but it goes by too fast. Fun to watch the kids dash around the house trying to catch sight though – yea, cheap entertainment, but isn’t that a fringe benefit of parenthood?
Papa John’s pizza – Our first foray into delivery food, and wow! Yummy pizza, delivered fast. There are so many restaurants here… pretty much any food you could want, and it looks like they all deliver (or at least offer take-away). We can’t wait to try more.
We’ve heard that Amman is the “London of the Middle East” … we’ve had a couple of mornings now where the air is cool and damp, the sky is grey, and excepting the good visibility – not what I associate with the UK - it gives me deja vu tingles. Add that to the very intercontinental atmosphere of the shopping and sights around town and I am definitely beginning to understand why the city has earned this nickname. Of course, I tend to think that most Jordanians speak better English than what I heard in London, but I'm just a silly lady from Florider, right, wot would I know, isit?Yer know wot I mean? ;-)
Critters - We have a bunch of very pretty birds visit our garden, and except for the ever-present light brown doves (which seem to exist everywhere in the world) we have no idea what these birds are. Looks like I need to find a bookstore. Most of the stray cats we see in our area are very small – the kids call them kittens, so I have to remind them that we used to have BIG cats so these adult cats just look small in comparison. Most of our neighborhood kitties are a pretty peach-orange, with spotted tabby markings. We have seen a couple of stray dogs, but very few. Also, the Bedouins bring their goats, sheep, and donkeys through town, so we see herds here and there. Brad even saw two camels the other day.
Climate – To answer a couple of questions from “Tina in CT”:
1. “What is the temperature like there?” The weather is perfect. Seriously. Highs of 85F, lows of 65F, ever since we’ve been here. Ok, I see how it will get hotter in the summer, perhaps dry and dusty too, and it’s supposed to get colder through the winter with a possibility of snow once or twice, but so far, this is amazing weather. I keep the following weather gizmo at the bottom of my blog (past all the junk) from my favorite weather website, in case you are ever curious :
2. “Is there any grass around as I didn't see any?” Grass is pretty much confined to tended gardens, however, it is remarkably green here. There are a lot of trees. Take a close look at the Jerash photos. You see brown ground everywhere, but notice the trees, and little scrub plants around the rocks. You can even see that the hills in the background have dense stands of trees. The natural terrain is much the same in Amman too, just add in gardens, decorative trees, succulent ground covers, and manicured shrubs. I was surprised, as I heard that it was very dry here, but we do get rain – there’s a chance of rain today. I am glad to see all the plants. Probably part of what keeps the air so fresh.
Air freight – aka UAB, aka unaccompanied baggage. Ours arrived blindingly fast. I am not sure if this was due to our being past the madness of the summer rush period, or we just timed it right and caught a good transport schedule, or perhaps it was simply the will of the almighty gods of house-moving who felt they owed us one because we have never before had our air freight arrive before the rest of our household goods (and car) – which defeats the whole purpose of the shipment! I mean, UAB is supposed to be what you send to tide you over (pots, pans, linens, clothes, etc.) until you get your whole, ‘slow’ shipment of household goods, but we have always had everything arrive at the same time. I didn’t even bother to pack much in it this time, just some toys, favorite blankets, tools… basically only some of the kids’ things. Why bother?! It’s never done us any good in past?! Guess I better go light some incense, or sacrifice a chocolate bar, or something, out of grateful thanks. I’m thrilled that it arrived… and still in complete shock.
One more thing – Being at home. Yea, I’m getting that feeling. Morning noises. Sitting on the front porch, reading or crocheting, waiting for the bus. Doing homework with the kids. Kids tackling daddy as he gets home from work (at a reasonable hour because he doesn’t have an hour plus commute). Learning the specific details about Jordan is very interesting, and I am sure it will continue to be so, but the “in general” details are coming together for us too, and I think that’s my favorite part.