First impressions (and first Arabic test)

Today is my third day in Amman and I feel like I can start to reveal my first impressions 😉

The people are AWESOME. Friendly, happy security officers at the airport; kind, patient shop assistants who welcome me in their country with genuine smiles and generous words while trying to figure out what I’m saying; sociable, yet respectful young Jordanians who offer to show me round the city; extremely helpful, funny staff at school.

My Arabic, on the other hand, is ****!! I’m realising how right my friend Ramy is, and how useless textbooks are, when it comes to daily life matters. Besides, Jordanian dialect is of course a bit different from the Modern Standard Arabic one is generally taught in class. But hey- I’ll learn.

The shops are sometimes identical to what I’m used to, and sometimes honestly quite puzzling to me. I’ll probably film some of the products in the local Carrefour one day, because I have no idea what they are, how they taste and which recipes they fit in haha!!! In the houseware shop, I was surprised to find garden accessories and golden Qur’an book-holders before cutlery and toobrushes, but I guess everybody has different priorities.

The streets. The streets! I’m finding it pretty easy to orientate (I also haven’t gone too far hehe…check out the longest distance I’ve walked on my own so far! :P)

Screenshot_20160830-150744

My biggest difficulty, in fact, resides in understanding where I am supposed to walk. Let’s just say that continuous pavements are not everywhere. Same for zebra crossings. And there are lots of cars that drive in very personal ways. But again, it’s feasible and I like how mildly hilly everything is… it adds texture to the map, and it reminds me of my big love Istanbul 🙂

Adjusting to a different kind of summer clothing was easier than I expected: it’s not that you MUST wear more covering clothes, but it feels right and I’m happy to do it. Nearly everybody in my neighbourhood has completely covered legs and mid- to full-lenght sleeves; so do I and I feel at ease this way. It’s actually extremely convenient for me at this point, because I’m peeling very badly from my Greek tan! 😛

Besides, it’s hot but not even that hot. Evenings and nights are PURRRFECT weather, with 20-23 °C, and the days sometimes peak at 35 °C but it’s a dry heat I can deal with so much better than the humid one that infests my hometown in Italy. And there’s often a nice breeze…

The sky is very often hazy, I’ll give you that. An interesting hue of dusty pink (accidentally, my sister’s favourite colour hashtag).  I’ve seen it light blue once, I think. And the panorama is… buildings, buildings, buildings!!! It looks like the city goes on forever in all directions aaaaand okay, I’ve just checked on Google and it DOES go on forever in all directions! If Milan has an area of 181.8 km², Amman beats it with an INCREDIBLE 1,680 km²!!!!!! Wowowow all right, I’m stunned. It makes sense. Anyway, I don’t mind not having a particular scenery. I like this 🙂 and you also see some trees here and there 🙂

What else? I suppose the average “Western” person could be a little upset at the garbage spread all over the place. I, personally, am mainly sad there doesn’t seem to be a working recycling system here. In terms of energy and resources, it’s important to remember that water is scarce, and that the sewage system has its limitations. Nothing one can’t deal with, to be honest, and actually I think it’s very good to remember how many things we give for granted.

…and I think that covers it, so far! I’ve been quite cautious in these early explorations and haven’t pushed myself very far, for now, so this is all I can comment about 🙂 Ah, my new friend Bader has also taught me that Jordanians like to listen to their music as loudly as possible, hehehe.

Photos of the day: bits of Italy in Amman; the hotel room where we Qasid students had orientation and our diagnostic test today; and parts of my (so very basic) answers to said test! Yalla bye!! 😉

 

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