Sunday, January 17, 2010

Random Notes on Being Back in Amman

After possibly the mose relaxing and restful vacation ever, I'm back in Amman. Being back home and having life be really easy for two weeks was just what I needed. Not having to worry about running out of water, being able to sleep in all the time, having a normal oven and a microwave, not having to struggle to get across ideas in Arabic, etc. was a real treat. Speaking of Arabic, was it really necessary for me to sit in on a three and a half hour meeting, all in Arabic, without someone to translate everything for me. I tried to not look like a bump on a log, but it's hard to look engaged when you don't understand what's being discussed. I succeeded at not falling asleep which I considered a success. Catching up with family and friends was also great. I found out that I didn't forget how to drive and was amazed by the order on the streets. There are actually proper lanes in the US. A real treat, at least to me, who would be scared to drive here in Amman. I got my Taco Bell, Korean food and Thai food fix, as well as the traditional Christmas dinner and tasty kettle corn. Life was good.

Now that I'm back, I'm appreciating some of the highlights about being here; always learning new things, buying my 'ka'ik sim sim' sandwich every morning from the adorable Ahmad, the variety of cafe's, walking everywhere and right now, the beautiful weather. It's kind of ironic that I was so excited to get really nice long johns to bring back to Amman to suvive what I thought would be the bitter cold weather when I got back. It's about 70 degrees now; I'm wearing a skirt, a sweater and I don't even have to wear a hat or a scarf today, which is something considering that I usually don a scarf once October hits.

One highlight of being here is that when you don't have a lot of money, it's rather easy to eat healthily. In the US, the fast food is cheap and the produce is expensive. Here, it's the fast food that is expensive and the produce is cheaper. A whole bag stuffed with fruits and vegetables for under $7? 10 pieces of freshly made mouth watering falafel for 22 cents? Awesome. Of course, everything is relative and I'm sure that for people who earn $300 a month, everything is expensive. Everything is relative I guess.

On another note, I saw some odd foods in US supermarkets. Broccolini. It looked like asparagus but with a tiny head of broccoli on top. I don't get it. Don't scientists and engineers have something better to do with their time. An avacado with 30% less fat. Last time I checked, the kind of fat in avacados are actually good for you. Let's stick with normal avacados and less.....burgers and ice cream.

Another bonus, at least about being a teacher here, is that I'm on vacation again! 2 weeks of vacation in December and 2 weeks of vacation in January. And thanks to my wonderful mother, I get to go to Egypt with some friends in two days! Cairo and Luxor, here I come!

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