We’ve been kept busy these past few days, and that combined with the incredibly slow internet available has made it a little difficult for me to post, so I’ll try to catch up now.
I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time at the University of Jordan campus. I think I’m going to like being a student there. It’s really beautiful and was built in the middle of a forest, so there are tall green trees everywhere. Like the rest of Amman, all the buildings are varying shades of beige, white, ochre, and light brown, which makes the whole effect really gorgeous. It definitely has the sanctuary-like feeling of a college campus, which is refreshing when you’re living in a capital city. It’s a lot larger than I’m used to, and I wish I could ride a bike on campus, but there are lots of benches and places to eat and shady corners, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to hang out there.
Transportation here is interesting. There are of course tons of taxis available, which are cheap (around 4 JD, or 5 USD, for a ride from far East Amman to far West Amman), but there are also a lot of buses, which cost less than a JD. The “control guy,” who sits beside the bus driver, determines when the bus starts and stops—he’ll see people on the side of the road signaling and the bus will pull over, he’ll answer any questions about where the bus is going, and he’ll tell people where to sit and take their money. If a woman gets on the bus and there are no seats, he’ll yell “Ya shobab” (“Young men”), and a guy will (eventually) be forced to stand up or crouch in the aisle.
Getting around is made a little more difficult by the fact that everything in Amman looks the same, and the population is not densely packed into a small space. Amman was originally built on seven hills, but now takes up twenty-three, and there are no skyscrapers or anything of the sort—I’d say the average building level is about four or five stories.
Luckily things here are cheap, even though the JD is worth more than the dollar. You can easily have a meal and a smoothie for 2 JD, or less than 3 USD.
Tomorrow I have an interview for an internship with a magazine in Amman, which I hope goes well. I haven’t written an article in awhile and I’m really eager to write about Jordan and actually practice journalism in the Middle East. As stimulating as this blog is, it’s not quite the same as interviewing people and researching a topic. With any luck I’ll be able to post anything I publish on this blog as well.