Every student enrolled in the Amideast program gets paired with a Jordanian who is hoping to improve their English and help you improve your Arabic. This week I met my language partner Khaled at a restaurant called Wazzup Dog. I had a hot dog with sweet corn, chips, relish, cheese, mayo, mustard, and ketchup. It was actually pretty good. We also visited City Mall here in Amman. It was as if I was back at Carousel mall or whatever they're passing it off for now (Destiny mall?) in Syracuse. Because of the similarities I didn't really want to be there. This is a common theme of my life here in Amman. I try to distance myself from the semblances of western culture to gain more insight on that of Jordanians. This at times can be difficult as many Jordanians speak english better than I speak arabic and due to the fact that the city is already very modern. I realized the other night on my way home from class that many stores lining the streets of Amman are specialized, small, and family owned. I hypothesized that so far larger chain stores haven't taken a huge chunk out of their business. To support this observation I haven't seen any Walmarts or other super-stores. The closest thing I've seen is the single Carrefour mega-center in City Mall. The following three pictures demonstrate the range of commercial development in Amman.
|Electronics Section at Carrefour|
|I still haven't broken down and gone to the Burger King at the end of my street|
This week I also took the opportunity to audition for the choir Dozan wa Awtar. Auditions were held at the Etihad Bank here in Amman. Right behind the bank a skyscraper is approaching completion. I made it into the choir along with two others from the Amideast program. One of whom is a fellow Laurentian Singer. Our first rehearsal is monday night. Because we were encouraged to become hermits this weekend with the possibility of protests at the US embassy we invited a few other Amideast students over and had a barbeque. We had trouble lighting all of the coals so my host brother had the brilliant idea to stoke them with a hair dryer. In arabic he called his contribution a fiqra heluwa (good idea). I won't type what I called it in english. The dinner turned out to be delicious with no shocks or burns. Afterwards we played the card game Trix late into the night. Everyone except me smoked tobacco in a water pipe (argeela). I already get my fill of smoke from all the engine exhaust here in Amman.