I’ve been so busy this past week, but here are some highlights/interesting finds of my past week:
Praying in the gym
Like in Oman, praying seems to not be a very private thing as in the gym I saw a woman bring her prayer rug and pray in the changing room. I found that interesting as with many other religions, one can pray publicly, but it is a very different fashion.
As Ramadan is a holy month, many Muslims focus more on Islam during this time. My host parents, therefore, have spent a little time each day to read the Qur’an. Now that it is the end of Ramadan, they have both finished re-reading the Qur’an.
Speaking of daily activities during Ramadan, every night after Iftar, my host family gathers around the TV to watch the show, Ramaz. Ramaz is a special series that only airs during Ramadan and though aspects of it changes every year (like the location and mode of transportation), the overall gist is the same every day and every year: Ramaz, the producer of the shower, dresses up as some character and invites an actual celebrity on the show (though he/she does not know they are on a TV show or being filmed). We watch as they have a plane “accident” and laugh as they scream and almost have heart attacks. At the end, Ramaz reveals himself and the guest goes from hysterically crying to hysterically screaming to hysterically laughing. Overall, very hysterical. So hysterical, in fact, that Paris Hilton, a recent guest on the show, is allegedly planning to sue Ramaz for the trauma!
Driving in Jordan
So the driving here is kind of crazy and very different from the US, in which there are not tons of rules and seatbelts are not worn and people drive very quickly as they zigzag through the lanes. Luckily, though, the driving is better than what I’ve experienced in India and Oman so that’s good!
The main/cheapest form of transportation is with taxis, which are found everywhere. The only problem is that during Ramadan it’s really hard to get taxis in my neighborhood during the morning and night, but otherwise, I’ve had no problems using them. You just have to make sure that the meter is working, otherwise they may greatly overcharge. There also aren’t street names that are widely used, so giving an address to the driver won’t help you. Instead, people give names of landmarks that are near their final location and then direct from there. Finally, I’ve had some drivers drive backwards (even on the highways) for a few seconds when they’ve missed a turn, so always gotta be prepared for something crazy!
The other day, after Iftar, some friends and I went to Eastern Amman to walk in the souk. Towards the end, we saw some guys playing what looked like ping pong without a net. Turns out, they didn’t have a ball, they were just pretending to jump and run around to hit an imaginary ball!
Turns out that our Resident Director also teaches Bhangra, so we went after Iftar to a Bhangra dance class she was hosting! It was in the back of a nice cafe, in a large outdoor square. We had lots of fun and there were people in the class from Jordan as well as the US. So fun!
Getting visas renewed
We had to get our visas renewed, which was a whole process.
At the office, we had to fill out various forms and give our fingerprints. It was funny because the wall is covered with fingerprints as many people use it to get the ink off their fingers.
All in all, the process would have been very difficult had we not spoken any Arabic and had someone with us to tell us what to do as there were two buildings we had to go to (one about 5 min walk away) and everything was in Arabic of course!