Thursday, April 5, 2007

Random thought on our move to Jordan

So far our move to Jordan is a go, but you know there are still three more months to and who knows what happens in those three months.

How the heck am I going to drive in Amman, sure the area where we will be living in is not as busy as say downtown Amman, or so I have been told since I have never been to nos elbalad.

And what is up with those sidewalks?? My son is a runner, so unless he is sitting in a stroller I will be chasing him. And those darned sidewalks and stroller just do not go together. If there aren’t any steps here and there, there are trees right in the middle of the sidewalk, which apparently the city is getting rid of. How does a handicapped person live in Amman? You see people in those cool wheel chair, my son is so fascinated with those, and they can go anywhere, but I can not see a person in a wheelchair being able to get around in Amman, same with strollers. I want to get my son one of those so he will not run off, he so ma besma3 elkelme and the minute he is out of the stroller he wants to run all over.

Now I know that people are different in the mideast. Few years ago in Jordan we went to this restaurant, gosh I do not what it is called the one inside a cave. Anyways we were sitting outside, it has a million stairs here and there, lots of rocks and very unsafe for a child unsupervised. My husband’s niece was 18 month old and she was left alone to roam all over the place. Now I will let my five-year-old roam around but with my eyes on his constantly though, but not my 2.5yo. I just do not get it, how can an eighteen-month-old baby be left alone to roam freely! In Syria I saw kids in diapers, playing on the street with their older sibling, who were about three or four years old, if someone sees kids this age playing alone on the streets in Canada, the police would be called within minutes.

Then there is the no central heat thing. My mother in law keeps on saying ya welli 3aleekom in this cold. But I’m thinking ya weeli 3alikom into in Jordan. It may be –40 here, but we are very warm at home. I do not own long sleeves PJ, my kids are inside with very light cloths on, their PJs are short sleeves and they are mostly in shorts and T’s at home all winter long. But in Jordan well at least at my in-laws homes I was freezing all day long. I think I will take freezing from my home to my car, and the car to my destination for few minutes rather than being cold all day long and wearing tons of clothes, which I really hate.

Ok so I guess since I promised I will go and spend at least one year in Amman, I will go and I will get used to it. BUT I do plan to drive my husband crazy, I will call him everyday and complain, ok maybe not everyday, just Saturday morning to get him back for driving us crazy with his Canada sucks whines (which it doesn’t, Canada is awesome!). Even if I do end up love living in Jordan, which who knows, I might love it once I get past driving, and the wearing a million things all day long:)


hamede said...

You can have central heat in jordan.ya welli 3aleekom,my dad always say hathe sana mal3onet waldyen.

Summer said...

Sam, i understand your worries! things will be all ok for you there.
as long as you live comfortably and you can afford the central heating cost during the winter months, you will be fine. i know for sure that most homes in Jordan are so cold due to lack of central heating or not turning it on at know how expensive fuel is and how little money most people have.
all in all, i have a feeling that you will like living there...i just wish that your husband would live with you too..i cannot imagine being alone with the kids in a different place without mine! best of luck!

Hatem Abunimeh said...

When I was in Jordan in October and November 2006, my brother in law told me that he pays an average of JD 400 for heating his 275 sq. Meter apartment per month, which is about $ 564 US dollars. I understand your worries regarding the absence of adequate energy supplies or better yet the absence of a solid budget to pay for heating and air conditioning during the four seasons, or the two seasons like the case in Jordan. Like you correctly stated in the west we take the energy supply for granted because it is already installed and serving us and we gladly pay for it. In Jordan it is totally different story, I have met fairly rich people that can't afford to keep neither the heat nor the air conditioning 24 hours a day. I guess you just have to get used to having only one quarter of the house heated instead of the whole house and you are going to have to stay put in this one location where the heat is until the winter months are over. In the summer months it is no better but I'm not going to address the cooling part because it will need a post by itself.

Raed said...

As for the trees in the mid of the sidewalk, we called the municipality and they came, they saw, they did nothing. your tax money at work, in there is not a damn thing you can do about it. you are better off writing a letter to Bush to get things done in Jordan.

7aki Fadi said...

Well these are the things that bother me in Amman:
1) No water pressure, and the water only comes 1 day a week
2) Forget about walking or using the stroller anywhere
3) No dishwasher.
4) you need to buy gas for the stove

But as summer said I think you will enjoy yourself :) and the cold you get used to.

Sam said...

hamede, yeh but like everyone says it is expensive, it costs $160CAD to heat my 2000sq house here that is like 3x less than what it costs there..we are not that rich especially that we will have rent in saskatoon, mortgage in toront and rent in amman:(
the more i think about this the more i love canada, if anyone complains about about canada i'm going to shove a chocolate bar in his mouth!

hatem, thanks for the input..i did not know it is that expenive to heat homes! wow! that is about 700CAD!

raed, im thinking that maybe even if they took the trees out, they will leave a hole..!:(

7aki fadi OMG u reminded me about that water, it was a nightmare giving the kids a bath, i could not get them clean because there was hardly any water to soak them in:( and finally someone who sees my point about the stroller! everyone thinks it is silly!

7aki Fadi said...

The stroller is not silly at all, it's safer for your son, and he’s too young to know any better than running around.

People in Jordan hardly take their kids out on the street by the way, where in Canada you take your kids everywhere you go, its very kid friendly :).

and life goes on... said...

It's usually the other way around.. the woman wants to live in the arab world and the man insists on staying abroad! So it's kind of weird in your case :D

But why not try to convnice your husband that you are happy where you are, and that you see it as a home! Maybe he'll change his mind or reconsider.. if you have the thoughts and believe from now that you won't enjoy the move, then believe me you wont!

kinzi said...

You can take the stroller to some of the parks and walk around, or the malls. Sidewalks dont' bother me with a stroller, it was the INCLINES!! Killed me pushing and gave me nightmares going downhill.

We have central heart, too expensive, so we went back to Sobas and boil water for kid's baths. Not having a dryer, though, that is what kills me.

what is your husband going to do without you as a source of witty entertainment every day? That's my big worry for you too! He might die of lack of laughter.

Firas said...

Oh you'll be fine.

Well most things mentioned above are nothing, you can get used to it but what you really should be worried about is the :Bebol here!

Living in Jordan is great (it's not like other Arab countries, we are way better),but you have to make good living to enjoy it and deal with the right people, in most cases, people have no value for time,work ethics,honest deals or privacy (you know the dudes fixing stuff around your house, they'll try to rip you off, do a lousy job, and fail to show up 53 times, when it only takes just 1 day of work).
Dealing with half-educated employees and managers at public and private sector, in most cases they have no clue what the rules are and they don't wanna bother asking (lazy people) so they end up refusing your request or answering your questions.

Again, it's really your call :D (Come on you'll love Amman's cabbies and Shabab saying: esh ya helu) , I personally found that you really have to make up your mind: Do I want to completely move or not?If yes, then I'll have to deal with things that way
(Don't be surprised if some Canadian officer at the airport/embassy tells you that you don't care for Canada and you just want to get the passport)

MommaBean said...


Just wanted to drop a post from the perspective of the recently moved from the really affluent West. I hate to admit that the easiest way to enjoy living in Jordan is to be part of the affluent Jordan. They certainly don't have "central heat" like in the US (nice climate controlled air blowing through a vent on the ceiling or floor), but we have radiators in every room. The biggest problem I have with it is, it's either on or off. It's not a temperature controlled thing. So, we default at night to off, with the timer set for an hour or so at 3am to ward off the cold.

I definitely had stroller withdrawal, but really we simply don't walk much anymore. And, the total lack of fear for the kids is another culture-shock thing. I never let my kids out of my sight and see 4 and 5 year olds walking home from school alone. it takes some getting used to.

But, for me, I'm really loving living in Jordan. So, give it a chance, you may find that as you value different things, your house will feel very different from your in-laws. Mine does. They don't use their heat and use a smalll space heater inside (okay, another scary thing to me, they use propane tanks in heater INSIDE the house). We had a hot house pretty much all winter. I was happy even if our pocket books were less so...

Sam said...

7aki fadi, yeh that sucks how people do not take their kids out too much...I saw my husband's cousin jordan 5x, but i never saw her kids..they were always with the shagalah..

life goes on: i know tell me about it..all my friends want to move back to the mideast and their husband's do husband just really wants our kids to learn arabic and know his family..and im only going for a year to hmmmm....he is sure i am going to love it, and will not want to come back to canada, but i doubt not really a social i may not love it as much as he thinks..o well we'll see...:)

Kinzi, my husband has become a workoholic so we barley see him...but im telling u, i am sure we will be back home before the new year, he will not be able to take it!:) and o yeh the dryer...especially when washing jeans! i am going to have to buy the kids more jeans!! it takes forever to dry ...o and me too..*sigh* off to shop!!!

Firas, this is why i wanted my husband to come work in jordan, or an other arabic country for that matter, then we will never hear him whinning about canada ever again!!:) but he cant....unless he changes his specialty..

mamabean did you get my email?? i emailed u few days ago...remember we emailed back and forth few times in the past year..and we were supposed to meet when i was in jordan...but it got too busy for both of us..

MommaBean said...


Got your e-amil, been ridiculously busy. In the middle of a start-up business, so it's been wild. I wanted to add one more thing about making the move so the kids speak Arabic. We're a mixed success story in that my kids speak 10000000% more Arabic than they did before we came. As you know, they've always understood. My oldest is about to complete a full year of school (KG1) and she still speaks Arabic at home less than 15% of the time. She speaks it at school, but if you come for a year then move back, you will really ahve to work hard to keep it up... :) Ah, the joys!

Sam said...

mamabean thank your for reply...i will be emailing u lots in the next few husband just wants to see him talking..if he talks for a while and then stops it doesnt matter, just as long as he talks like an arab for a while, then he will be sure that he'll be able to speak even if he talks mostly in english afterwards..i know my hubby is weird:)