Monday, July 18, 2011

Souk Sultan

So tonight we decided to take a walk to a nearby street that happens to have a lot of shops and goes by the name of Souk Sultan. So here's a description of it tonight.

First of all, sidewalks here are a joke. We walk in the street. The only problem with this is the every constant screeching of cars and hiking when they almost hit you, and in one case, did hit. He is fine though. So we walk in the street, but the streets here are really dirty. Is not like they're necessarily filled with trash, even though they are, as littering is a common practice, but the streets are just sticky, or something of that sort. Is hard to put a finger on exactly what is wrong with them. They're not sticky everywhere, usually just on more popular streets, especially by restaurants. Maybe it's oil or something.

Souk Sultan is a pretty much a bunch of shops and restaurants, and yet it was surprisingly hard to find somewhere to get a meal tonight. We ended up just buying some snack foods and a couple of vegetables and a watermelon. The watermelon was about eighty qirsh, which is about one USD. Yet another thing I love about Jordan. Fruits and vegetables are so cheap here. It's amazing.

So we walk home, get some stuff yelled at us through car windows as people drive by, but that's normal here. We get everything from welcome to Jordan to some pretty profane phrases. No big though, it's normal. Then we got followed by some little kid, and it sucks to have to yell at him to go away, but we can't give money to all the beggars. And when they follow you for such a long time, it's weird. Anyways.

But then we get home, make some food, eat the watermelon, and work on some projects about the places we went to on our big trip. I'm working on wadi rum, but we finished our project earlier, but the Aqaba and Petra groups are still working. And someone else needs this iPad, so I guess that's all. Bye!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life so far in the apartments

So our apartments are an interesting mix of disgusting and broken. For the most part we have cleaned and fixed them, but I will describe them to you as we found them.

So my apartment is three rooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. I share it with two other girls from the trip. I share my bedroom with one of the girls, and we each have what is bed described as a wooden cot. Although I honestly do not spend that much time sleeping on it, we usually hang out in someone else's apartment until two or three, fall asleep there, wake up in the middle of the night and come back here.

Then there is one bedroom where the other girl sleeps, and a living room. The living room had a couch, a loveseat, and two chairs in it, but we moved the chairs into the hallway by the dining table, which is in the hallways because it doesn't fit in the kitchen. The living room is turning into mostly the laundry room, because the drying rack is in there, and because the chairs are in the hallway we chill in the hall.

The kitchen is a hot mess. First of all, it is extremely small, even compared to the other apartments. There's barely enough room for two people to stand in there at the same time, but it's okay. There is a cabinet for the meager amount of dishes we have, a stove, a gas tank for the stove, a fridge, and our washing machine. Originally the washing machine was in the bathroom, but we moved it into the kitchen, which I can explain when I tell you about the bathroom. The kitchen floor is always kind of wet, because when the laundry machine drains, it drains into this thing in the floor, but the thing is full of hair and bugs and disgustingness, and while I am willing to clean almost anything, there is no way that I'm sticking my hand down that drain to clean it. So when the washing machine drains, the water doesn't go down fast enough so it floods the floor, and we have to use this squeegee brush thing to pull all the water to the drain or terror again.

Actually, let me describe to you the process that is called laundry here. I'm not complaining, it's kind of annoying to do but it's funny so whatever. First, open the top of the washing machine and realize how small it is. Namely, about the size of a shop vac. Then, take a bowl to fill it up with water, and dump it into the machine. There is no water hookup to the machine, so you have to fill it up manually, and a bowl or teapot is the best you can do. Then, put a few things of clothes in, dump in some Persil, the only laundry detergent anybody uses here, and turn it on. Let it wash for fifteen minutes, drain it into the floor like I described earlier, refill it with water and no soap to rinse, and repeat the draining process.

Then move the clothes into what is the size of a wastebasket next to the washing machine and spin them for five minutes,then hang them up on the rack in the living room.

Now let me describe to you the bathroom as we found it. The toilet was broken, the shower head was hanging down because it's a European shower but the thing to hang it on the wall was gone, the mirror is about four inches by six inches, and the drain in the floor here was even worse than in the kitchen. But it's all fixed now after much work on the part of the building manager dude. So were good. Except that the toilet is still. A bit temperamental, but there's nothing we can do about that.

As far as the washing machine in the bathroom, it was supposed to be in there so we could fill it up with the shower head, but the nearest electrical plug was in the hallway, so to use the washing machine in the bathroom it had to be pulled out to whee it blocked the bathroom door from closing so at the plug could reach the outlet. So for the first three days of the stay our bathroom door never really closed, and when you needed the bathroom you had to tell everyone not to look, which was weird. Soon later we decided that we'd rather have to fill it with bowls of water and be able to close the door.

That's pretty much it as far as our own apartment goes. There's six rooms of people from the trip, four on my floor and two below us, and then the other two rooms on the floor below us are the resident director and assistant resident director for the trip.

Oh, one more thing about the apartment itself that I like is that fact that you can go on the roof and chill, just take the stairs or elevator up and chill out there.

Well, we are visiting our host families this afternoon, so I have to go finish my homework now. Bye!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Walking As Far as Possible

So I haven't had a lot of time to post stuff, and I can catch up later, but here's a fun story from this weekend.

We were sleeping at the Beadouin camp at Wadi Rum in the south of Jordan, and we had some time to explore. Our campsite was against a mountain, and then there was just a massive amount of desert in the other direction.

So, we turned towards the desert, and literally decided to walk as far as we could "that way". And so we did. We walked for about forty minutes just in one direction, and finally decided that we were going to walk to this mountain across the desert that looked close, but we knew was far away.  We walked and walked and walked to this mountain, got there, took pictures, and walked back. Across the desert. We were looking for a ten minute walk maybe, but we took a little long, and the sun went down, and we ended up being gone for over an hour and a half, just walking in the desert. It's a really cool feeling to literally decide to walk as far as you can, and actually do it. Especially when the limit is a literal mountain in the middle of the desert. This makes me think of Michaeline, and the summer bucket list. This one? Check.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Muhammad says...

So two of us are sleeping outside tonight, and this is the list of reasons our ten year old host brother gave us not to do it.

The ant will come like the soldiers and go inside your ear

Two spiders will come in your mouth

The tiger will take your glasses

The bicycle will become another tiger, and be a female, and have a thousand babies and they will eat you.

Two cats will come and make death in your mouth

The ants will put electricity in your nose so you snore and the dogs will attack you because the noise will annoy you

The men from the street will come and take you

They will turn you into an apple

All of the turtles in the world will come and turd all over you.

A truck will come and dump soil on you

Superman will try to save you but the ants will scarehim away

The bats will come and sleep on you and you will be a thousand years

I am kind of scared. Bye!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So here's a lovely story of how we got home from school today.

Normally we take the bus home from school, but we're leaving for a weekend trip down south this weekend, so we needed to go to the bank across the street from school to exchange money before we left, so eight of us decided to just go there and then take taxis home. Taxis are usually easy, so no big.

So first, we need to get a taxi. Traffic is insane here, what with there being no actual lanes and such, and every taxi that passed us was full, until we finally got one.

Total time so far: 30 minutes

So there's four of us in this cab, and in Jordan women DO NOT sit in the front of the taxi unless necessary. But we decided that it'd be fine, although honestly this was the first time I'd seen any women in the front of  taxi. So I sit in the front of the cab, and he refuses to look at me, which is the polite thing to do here, but it's strange to be in the front of the cab with a driver who refuses to talk to or look at you. But that's respectful here, so no big.

We drive a little bit, but trafffic is insane. His 3dad, or meter, isn't very fast though, so it's okay. Some meters here are by time, not distance, so traffic is  problem. But that wasn't in this cab, so we were good. We get to a standstill, and he turns to my side and calls through the window to another cab driver beside us for a lighter. Everyone smokes here, so it's guaranteed he has one. And when I mean everyone, I don't literally mean everyone, but just about. But that's what I love about Jordan, the fact that the other driver tossed me a lighter, my driver lit his cigarette, and then we handed it back. But they refused to touch my hand in this process, and so there's that whole magical barrier around women again. I guess that's just here, and it's nice sometimes.

After getting to the area of Amman where two of the girls live, and having their host mom give the driver directions for the rest of the way, they got home, leaving two of us in the cab.

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

So then we tell the driver that we need to get to the hospital across the street from our house, and he nods and takes off.

Half an hour later, we get to  traffic circle, and he points out the window and says that the hospital is right over there, and we can get out there. So we do, and he leaves. The hospital wasn't right there. There was nothyer one there, but we didn't actually need a hospital.

So all in all, we waited by that traffic circle for another fourty minutes, and when we did get a cab we had to pay extra so he'd take us and not the six other people all trying to get the cab.

Total time to get home, which would be a ten minute cab ride: 3 hours.

I love Amman.