Monday, July 23, 2012

The Weekend

Hi there,

So here's a quick recap of our weekend.  Friday morning our sponsor/guide guy from the embassy walked to our place and we hoofed it around the neighborhood a little.  We went by a couple small grocery stores, one had a fruit and veggie vendor whom you pay separately from the everything else guy.  That's where we bought some milk and a cantaloupe and some green beans.  They have a surprising amount of produce that seems to be local.  The milk is the "long life" carton shelf-stable stuff.  It smells and tastes slightly different, and I'm a teeny bit grossed out by it.  Benjamin loves it though, he drinks it up.

After walking around the neighborhood and drinking most of a 1L bottle of water (it was hot!) we took a break and hung out at the house.  We had dinner at another embassy person's apartment, they have two little boys and it was fun to check email and visit for a while.  They sweetly loaned us some DVDs to watch, since we don't have any cable hooked up yet.  But we were devastated to realize that the player loaned to us until our stuff arrives is region-specific, and only plays European and Middle Eastern discs.  Drat!  And you know we're such movie and TV people, going this long without watching something is torture.  So Thomas ran out on Saturday to try and find a multi-region player, got one the guy told him would work, and naturally it won't play the DVDs.  So at some point we'll return it and attempt to get something, or maybe just get some sort of cable.  I'm really fascinated to watch some local programming, I hope we can get it soon.

While he was out cabbing around, Thomas also got our Internet hooked up.  For this, he is my hero.  So it's been great to be able to check Facebook and read my usual sites, keep up with the news.  And that gunman/massacre out in Colorado, I have no words.  The poor families of the victims.  Ugh, makes me sad.

Moving on to happier thoughts.  Saturday late morning we swam at the embassy pool, which is Olympic sized and has a real deep end (10 feet).  It was nice to just relax, enjoy the great sunny weather and check out the embassy a little.  There's a commissary which has a decent selection.  It's about the size of a big 7-11 and has pork products that you can't get elsewhere inside Jordan.  Also beer and wine at more reasonable prices.  We picked up some Coke Light, the equivalent of Diet Coke, which we also got with our lunches at the pool snack bar.  Living the life!

For dinner I made some rice and a frozen PF Chang's meal that our sponsor left for us.  It wasn't half bad, but I'm really looking forward to having my own pots and pans.  The temporary ones that they loan out aren't great. 

Sunday is the first workday of the week so Thomas went to work.  I was awake when he was getting ready then fell back asleep and woke up at 11:45am.  Not awesome!  Benjamin was still asleep too, so we were both completely off schedule.  Since we got up late I decided not to go out walking around in the heat.  We just played at home until Thomas got back, then we walked a long way (3 miles?) to a restaurant that was open during Ramadan, a rarity as we passed many places much closer that were closed.

An aside, the sidewalks in Amman are ridiculous.  They can vary in height off the street up to maybe 10 inches, which makes pushing the stroller super hard.  And at one point, walking along a busy road, it just stopped so we had to run to the median, wait, then run again to the other side.  It would be an impossible place to navigate if you were in a wheelchair.  And when driving, the lanes are unmarked or extremely faint, so you might have a two lane or three lane road, who can say.  There are also a lot of circles, left turns are frowned upon so you really have to plan your driving routes accordingly.  I'm looking forward to getting our car so I can be more mobile and meet up with people, but driving is a little scary.  Alright, back to dinner.

They had shades on the windows and when Iftar, the meal to break the fast, started they lifted the shades so you could see in from the outside.  Definitely a tourist/non-Muslim place, since there were people eating before sundown, and also speaking English.  Thankfully we got a cab back home, which was only 2 JD (Jordanian Dinar, 1 JD = about 1.5 USD).  I was really not in the mood for a long walk home, especially since it was already after Benjamin's bedtime. 

In the bummer department, I have a sore throat, Thomas does too and the way Ben's been fussing he might also have it.  I don't know if it's the dryness (no humidity) or just plane sickness.  Hopefully it'll get better soon.  Please pray for Benjamin, that he won't be so fussy at night.  I know it's a big adjustment for him but I can't tell if it's teething or scratchy throat or just all the changes.  Makes it hard to know how to help him.

So that was our weekend, I'm lumping all 3 days together.  The weekend over here is Friday and Saturday, which will take some getting used to.  Hopefully this week I'll venture out more and maybe meet up with a group of moms or something.  It's weird to be alone again with Benjamin during the day, since Thomas was home for about 2 weeks before we left.  Time to suck it up and make friends, create a schedule.  Wish me luck!


  1. So interesting! Loved the picture of the Coke cans.

  2. Very interesting! I'll bet the sore throats are, at least in part, due to the dryness.

    What about church?

    1. Hey Dad, I think you're right. We didn't do church this weekend, and the one we want to visit meets Friday morning. Thomas may have to work since he was on Washington time for his paycheck these two weeks and missed a day with traveling. So, eventually!