Where in the world?

28 Aug

A couple of weeks before our departure from the U.S.,  Phillip and I made a cross-country road trip with my sister and brother-in-law.  Somewhere on I-40 in New Mexico, I got a text message from a former Mercer student.  She had recently returned to Atlanta from her country and texted to ask if we could get together for coffee.  By that time, Phillip and I had already overbooked ourselves in efforts to say goodbye to everyone.  So, I replied, “I’d love to, but we’re making preparations to move overseas.”

Jordan shares borders with Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

“Where are you moving?”

“To Jordan.”

“Is that in Georgia?”

“It’s in the Middle East.”  :)

Slowly but surely, we are developing a head map of Amman.  We’ve found google earth maps to be quite helpful in figuring out where places are (and in learning where we made wrong turns!).

Red Star = our apartment; Purple Star = shopping areas closeby; Green Star = Queen Alia International Airport; Brown Star = Dead Sea; Blue Star = Jerusalem (a 45 min. drive as the crow flies)

Taxi drivers are knowledgable about the city’s layout, but it seems that giving them directions that reference landmarks is more helpful than mentioning actual street names.  Taxi fares are extremely cheap.  Traveling from our apartment (red star) to larger shopping areas (purple star) like malls and Wal-Mart-esque stores costs just 2 ~ 2.5 JDs; that’s just around $3 U.S.   Even at peak traffic times, that’s just around a 15 minute ride.  After grocery shopping the other day, we had 10 full bags that filled the back seat of a taxi.  The cost didn’t go up like it does for extra luggage in the U.S.

The only downside to riding in a taxi during August is that drivers don’t tend to use the air conditioning.  (I guess it saves on gas??)  Because of that practice and the excessive exhaust blowing in from all four windows down, I have become quite nauseated on a few taxi rides — especially during the heat of the day.  Thus, our “out and aboutness” is trending towards the Arab way:  stay inside most of the day until dusk.  It’s much, much cooler by then and feels great outside.

Red Star = our apartment; Blue Star = CGE/Rachel’s work (a 10 minute walk from home); Green Star = University of Jordan Campus

For our purposes in Amman, we  couldn’t have found a better location to live.  The yellow line shows the route I’ll be walking to and from work Sunday-Thursday (the weekend here is Friday and Saturday since Friday is the day everyone goes to the mosque to pray).  My work at CGE (the Consortium for Global Education) will involve directing the English program as well as teaching EFL classes.  CGE is most conveniently located adjacent to the University of Jordan where Phillip will be pursuing his second Master’s degree:  TASOL (Teaching Arabic as a Second or Other Language).

Our neighborhood (called Jubeyha) is an interesting place to live because of the international presence that the university attracts.  We feel right at home…well, all things considered!

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2 Responses to “Where in the world?”

  1. Mark August 31, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    So if I wanted to stalk you I would just need to start at the red star? If I can’t find you I’ll just ask around for Flope Amaricky.

    • philliprachelstokes August 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      hahaha!! Yes, that’s right. Flobe will be the white guy who hasn’t had a full shave since we got here. :)

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