Monday, October 29, 2012

And there's more...

Some random thoughts about Israel vs. Jordan:

-Israel has awesome roads.  Their highways are beautiful, like driving in the US or Europe.  Lots of clear lane markings, plenty of signs (in Hebrew, Arabic and English no less) and even little turnpike-esque gas station/rest area things.  It was awesome.  Then we came back across the border to a not-marked-at-all almost one-lane road back to Amman.  Yikes.

-They have the good milk.  Maybe because they have more agriculture, I'm not really sure.  But we bought the normal milk in a plastic jug, not the weird UHT milk we have in Amman.  Which I refuse to drink, because it's gross.  They also had plastic bags of milk, which I'd never seen before.  I'm not sure how you would store any leftovers.  But it was awesome to have real milk around for a change.  Even though I'm not sure I drank any...  Hmm, wasted opportunity.

-Their currency is shekels.  I'm not sure why this surprised me, but it seems such an old-world word.  So, shekels it was. 

-Some towns are heavily Muslim.  Again, not sure why I wouldn't have realized this before, since obviously it was populated by Arabs before Israel existed.  I guess I always assumed since there's so much tension between the cultures that Israel was only inhabited by Jews.  Silly me.  We didn't spend any time in the West Bank/Palestinian areas.  Before we left, my phone gave me directions that went straight through the West Bank to get to the border, but one of the guys told me that the roads aren't as nice as the Israeli roads.  So we stuck to the known quantity on the way back.

After we got in, Thomas and Benjamin took naps and I enjoyed the luxury of constant Internet access.  There was intermittent WiFi at the rental house, but with my addiction to online news/Facebook/Scrabble it was awesome to be back home.  I put together my new coat rack from Ikea, and I think it's great.  It's more modern than I would have picked if budget were no consideration, but I think it'll be perfect.  We don't have any closets or storage near the entryway, and with winter coming I think it'll get used. 

Naked coat tree.

Coat tree with clothes.

Today we had a slight mix-up with the time.  Israel is an hour earlier than Amman, so we changed our watches over.  And we knew that Jordan decided not to "fall back" (for whatever reason) but I spaced and didn't remember/know to change the clocks forward once we came back home.  So this morning I got up and showered, just taking my time before Emy came and I needed to leave for my class.  Then at 9:30am the doorbell rang.  It was Emy, and it was really 10:30.  My class starts at 11, so I pulled my wet hair into a bun and ran out the door.  I got there early and checked mail, we got two packages so I carried them out to the car and made it back just in time for my class. 

After class I ate lunch with Emily and Allison, who had hosted Emily's shower a couple weeks ago.  (Thomas had stayed home to make sure he was 100% better before going back to work.)  It was so much fun to have a girly lunch and a couple other people we all know came by and we had lots of great chitchat.  Most people traveled over the holiday, so it was nice to hear their accounts.  I picked up some milk and ice cream and a frozen P.F. Chang's dinner for two at the co-op, then headed home.  Benjamin was pretty sweet today and seems to have adjusted fine back to being the only kid in the house.

Playing with measuring cups, his favorite kitchen toy.

I have to explain a little about the pants he's wearing in the above picture.  Before we moved to Amman I spent about 10 months going Goodwill shopping to have his wardrobe mostly taken care of for the next couple years.  I bought lots of cute things in sizes up to 5T, in all seasons, etc.  These shorts are 2T (which he wears, but everything is waaaaay too long) but after I brought them home I started feeling like they are girl shorts.  They're from Old Navy, and there's no distinguishing characteristic that screams "girl", but still, I felt weird about putting them on him.  When I got back from the embassy, this is what Thomas had put him in for the day.  It's funny that they look like pants instead of long shorts, and they remind me of "Caddyshack".  So I think he can pull them off, at least until he's taller.  Opinions?

Tonight we'll watch "Elementary" and "Nashville" on AFN.  It's so fun to be able to watch current seasons of shows on the TV and not always use Hulu on the computer.  I love "Nashville" for the music and Connie Britton.  She'll forever be "Mrs. Coach" to me, and she's doing a great job on the new show too. 

Ahh, it's great to be home.


  1. You are such a great journalist, Rachel. Thanks for all the fun details.

    1. Thanks, guys! Hope things are going well for you in Ohio!