Snowtime turns to Springtime

16 Apr

Hello there, Rachel here.  As a child growing up in west Georgia where schools and businesses shut down at the first hint of snow on the ground, I used to pray for percipitation in the wintertime.  As an adult living in north Amman where none of the apartments have central heat, my prayers during the winter months couldn’t be more different!  It is now mid-April, and we couldn’t be happier with the weather!  I couldn’t believe how much snow we had this year; locals told us that it was an unusual amount.  With the snow came a heavy humidity that hung in the air from November to March.  That meant it took our jeans about a week to hang dry inside.  That also meant we had to fight mold and mildew which literally grew through the walls of our ground-level apartment.  (Where’s Kilz when you need it?)

From our rooftop, we photographed the heaviest snow of the season — this one brought us about 5-6 inches.  We were snowed in for 3 days; but it wasn’t all bad.  Phillip read on the couch as usual, I played my new keyboard (take that Delta Airlines! — Long story, but they told me I could check my keyboard from the U.S. on our flight back to Jordan after Christmas.  Upon arrival at the airport with my keyboard in a special flight case my parents got just for this purpose, they told us it was impossible to transport it; “Where are you taking this?” the Delta employee asked.  “Amman, Jordan” we said.  His reply, “Seriously?”)  After two months of searching, we located a music store in Amman that sells full-size digital pianos, which are cheaper than keyboards here (?).

For anyone in Amman, “Freddy for Music” on Gardens Street is where I found this digital piano.  They have a nice selection of guitars, amps, and percussion in addition to digital pianos and keyboards.

One interesting part of homelife in Jordan is the system for buying gas.  Since there is no central heat, your options for heat sources are (1) electric space heaters (which can run the electricity bill pretty high depending on how many hours you’re using it each day) and (2) gas-fueled space heaters called “sobas.”  The gas tanks for the sobas are the same type and size as the ones used in the kitchen for the oven/stove.  (Side note:  I love cooking with gas — probably going to replace our electric oven/stove in Atlanta when we move home.)   Depending on how high (and how long you use the soba), one tank will last somewhere between 2-3 weeks.  The tanks last a little longer in the kitchen — about a month and a half to two months, that’s calculated by how much we cook.  There are gas tank trucks that drive around and around the neighborhoods everyday.  They’re constantly broadcasting a little tune over there megaphone loudspeakers so you know the truck is coming.  When you hear them, you can run outside and swap your empty tank for a full one — just 6.5 jd (US$9.55).  Compare that to an American electric bill ($300+ per month vs. $15-20!)

During the big snow, I’m thankful that we had plenty of food — we even had the ingredients to make my Granny’s Apple pies! (left)  (Right, a gas truck slushes through snow.)

So much indoor time sometimes made me stir-crazy, but other times, it inspired a return to another one of my hobbies:  art.  I did a little bird project for my friend Susie’s living room (thanks, Grandy, for the fabric scraps).

And Phillip wanted a painting of Aqaba — our favorite city in Jordan, the country’s only seaport.  Across the water (Red Sea) lie Israel and Egypt.  Below (left), Phillip took me out to a French restaurant for Valentine’s Day; (right) we took a short weekend trip to Aqaba with our friends, the Bullards.

This, our second trip to Aqaba, signaled to me the beginning of spring!  (It was also the closest I’ll probably ever get to Saudi Arabia — note a road sign pointing to the international boarder just 8km or so away!)  Warm weather has lifted my spirits after so many months of being so cold.  Now is the perfect time to be in Jordan, I think.  To remind myself of springtime at home, and to brighten our patio with a little color, I potted a few marigolds, and other flowers to enjoy before the seasons change again and the summer sun induces heat strokes on all outdoor vegetation.  Check out the wildflowers on the side of the road (last pic) — poppies!  We’ll enjoy this season while it lasts.


One Response to “Snowtime turns to Springtime”

  1. Sharon Dyar April 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Thank you for the journey !

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