So living in Jordan, living anywhere, has its positives and it’s negatives. In my blog posts, I try to keep things positive; however, as promised I am writing today about the things that make living in Jordan difficult. Here they are in no particular order (and I am sure I forgot a few..ha!):
- Water. Having a limited supply of it and not having hot/warm water always available at a minutes notice.
- Traffic. Traffic here is awful. Complete chaos.
- Parking. Parking is worse. There is hardly any parking lots. People double and triple park on the side of a small road, because there is no other option, and if you are lucky they have left their cell phone number on the windshield for you to call them if you need them to move their car.
- Pedestrians. Excuse me, I am the one with the motorized vehicle and you are the one about to get run over without any protection…seriously, get out of my —– way.
- Electric. I can only run so many heavy appliances at a time or else my electric will cut off. Total pain when I need to run the dishwasher, cook, and do laundry all at the same time.
- This is for all the other women out there: Dishes and laundry. Most women do not have a dishwasher. Most women do not have a clothes dryer. I will never understand why they don’t invest in the things that will make their life easier…I suppose it is expensive and costs a lot of energy, but still ladies…invest in them because you deserve it!
- Unannounced house guests. Guests call 5 minutes before arriving on your door. A good hostess will always have a clean guest room for such unannounced visitors, and there should be always be something available to offer for drink (preferably turkish coffee, tea, or juice) and something to eat (fruit, nuts, dessert, or dinner if you are cooking they must stay to eat dinner with you). Even though I truly enjoy the company…with 3 young kids, just the thought of unannounced visitors makes me anxious…my home is never up to Jordanian standards of ‘perfection’ and we usually eat the stash of nuts, etc.
- Women Expectations. The woman (or her maid) is expected to have a clean home and a home cooked dinner ready…every night.
- Housework. The usual, everyday cleaning in Jordan is like ‘Spring Cleaning” in the USA. Honestly. The dust…OMG…the dust.
- Maids. ‘Everyone’ has one, but me. Maids are everywhere and this is why the woman expectation is so high.
- Everything is Expensive. Anything with quality is ridiculously expensive. I am not exaggerating when I say, that if you were to buy a children’s toy at the dollar store in the USA – you would pay $1.00 for a crappy, ugly toy that breaks probably that day or the next. Now, if you buy that same, crappy toy in Jordan, you will pay what the Fisher Price toy cost in the USA, around $20, and it would still break that same day or the next. Now, if you want to actually buy the Fisher Price toy that would cost you $20 in the USA (or $1.00 at a garage sale), in Jordan you better be willing to pay around $100 for that same $20 Fisher Price toy in the USA. Now that same idea goes for everything…furniture, clothing, you name it. To make matters worse, the average Jordanian makes about 1/10 the average salary in the USA…so imagine the expense!
- Health Care. Health care in Jordan is supposed to be the best in the Middle East. It’s okay, but I am not too impressed.
- Liter. OMG – the liter. Seriosuly, do you people not SEE it?! Please stop littering. Haram!
Okay, that’s enough. I hate to be so negative…unless I am chatting with my expat friends…ha. I have to end on a positive note, because living here even though it has it’s pain-in-the-!@# moments, it does have it’s good things too (read previous blog entry)…and here are a couple more positives about living in Jordan:
- Dead Sea and Aqaba. I LOVE that we can drive 30 minutes to the Dead Sea or 3 hours to Aqaba (city on the Red Sea), stay in a hotel and feel like we took a vacation. The weather is warmer on the Seas all year-long, so in the winter we often go stay in a hotel for the weekend, swim all day, lay in the sun, and feel like we went on vacation.
- The ‘Harris’/Guard. Every apartment has a guard, or harris in Arabic, that lives in a part of the apartment building. He is paid a monthly salary to wash you car every other day, take out your trash, clean the property, help with a heavy load of groceries, he will even go get a short list of groceries for you, etc. He makes life much easier with 3 little ones around!
- Supermarkets. I use to laugh at the name. They are called supermarkets, but they are small Mom and Pop stores. They can be found every couple of blocks, they are filled to the ceiling with merchandise, they have almost everything you need, and they make shopping easier and less stressful than going to the big grocery stores. Your shopping is done in about 1/4 the time.
- Bakeries. I love going to the bakery and watching the bread being made and buying fresh bread. I am talking, fresh out of the oven, warm, moist, delicious bread! Yummmmm.
- Arabian Women at an All Ladies Party. I love the energy the Arabian women have when it is time to celebrate! To me, there is nothing more exciting than kicking out the men, so the women can take off their ‘outdoor’ clothing to reveal their beautiful party dresses/evening gowns, turn up the music, and watch them sing and dance! They have so much excitement, it’s simply energizing!
So there you have it! The difficult and few more positives about this place I am currently calling ‘home’. I am thinking to next write about what I have learned since I move here…what I learned about myself and what I had to learn to get around here. Have a great day!