I was just perusing some of the other travel and study abroad blogs that I follow, specifically my girl Laura, and I realised I’m really bad at posting updates of what I’m doing. I’ve been here for juuuust over 5 weeks which is so wild to think about.
The hardest part of living in Amman is really just the fact that I’m on my own in terms of a lot of things. I have never in my life had to buy my own toilet paper. So this is a really the biggest learning curve.
I have yet to explore Amman as much as I want to, mainly because I’m very much bogged down with work and also because I’m so so so broke. Even though I have my internship, I can’t get paid for it so it’s the first time since I was 16 that I don’t have an income and it’s terrifying seeing my bank account get lower and lower.
To be quite honest, my Arabic hasn’t improved as much as I had wanted it to by this point, but that’s partly because I’m very good at shying away from challenges (i.e. new vocabulary and complex verb conjugations). But what is strange is that I found I’ve “collected” a lot of words in Arabic that I could easily drop in a conversation and make someone think I’m well-versed in the language. Just the other day I said the word for stapler and, not to toot my own horn, but: the crowd went wild. It was really only a crowd of one but please let me revel in this accomplishment.
Just outside of Um Qais in Irbid
Lastly, don’t tell my mom, but I still haven’t unpacked.
The biggest challenges I’ve faced in my past 5 days of being in Amman are staying warm and cooking.
I think when I decided to come do an internship in the desert I was under the impression that it would be above freezing, at least. However I didn’t realise that the apartment I’m living in was made for summer weather: marble floors and sandstone walls. I’m sure they keep the place mighty cool in the summer but for now it’s a little bit less than ideal. Lucky for me, our heater doesn’t work! Ellie and I have been making do with our lil space heater and it’s getting the job done for now. Apparently this entire region was in a polar vortex for the past week which explains why it’s been unseasonably cold and why I’ve been sleeping with a sweater, scarf, hat, and two layers of socks — all underneath my two comforters.
If that doesn’t shed light on how cold it is here, the other day a friend of mine ate dinner while wearing gloves.
Last night I decided I was finally gonna cook some of the groceries I had bought. I set up all my ingredients, chopped some stuff up, decided on my seasonings, threw everything into the pot and went to turn on the stove. It had zero idea that it was going to be a gas stove. Not even like an automatic gas stove, I mean like the kind where you get your matches and have to time the gas just right. I’ve never been more grateful for living that #ElectricStove life until that moment. Thankfully Mohammed was already in my apartment working on my heater and he told me that I needed to actually .. turn on the gas in the nearby cabinet. WHOOPS. I felt p r e t t y dumb but it’s all part of the learning experience.
I haven’t started taking my Arabic class yet nor has starting information from my internship come in so I’ve just kind of been hanging out enjoying the snow days. Can’t say I hate it.
How Not To Be An Idiot In Amman:
- Wear as many layers as humanly possible, even if that exceeds what’s socially acceptable.
- Turn on the gas before you try and use a gas stove.
We all have a lot we want to accomplish before we present ourselves to the world. I still have a lot to learn before I begin this journey to preserve my memories and share my life with you.
Thank you for your patience during this endeavor.