Life in Amman
I am now settled into the student life here in Amman. I have a four hour Arabic lesson each day...really more like 3 hours. But more about that later...it's just funny all on its own.
I have very few new photos to post because Amman isn't beautiful....wait, here's an example:
It kinda reminds me of SF....kinda.
But, I've discovered that there are some great oases (oasises?) around town so I'm hoping to get pictures of them. Also, there's some good peeps I gotta get photos of. Like my roomies...Sophia and Maryum. They are also studying Arabic at the university. Essentially, we bumped into each other while looking for places and decided to get a place together. We have a two bedroom apartment across the street from Uni. We pay 400JD/month, so about 135JD each. For students, we obtained an excellent price (some are paying 400JD for a studio or 300JD for a room with a 9pm curfew)...but the locals laugh at us for getting ripped off. Eh, whatever. It's cheap enough.
We largely owe our success to Haya, a girl from here who is studying German at the language center. I had seen her at the center and she appeared to know her way around so I had asked her if she knew of a place to find 'roommate wanted' postings. By that evening she had invited me to live with her family until I found a place. I went for dinner and met her mom and bro. Her mom launched into an Arabic lesson as soon as I arrived. She was just great. However, I didn't take them up on the offer because, with Haya's help, we found a place the following day.
Getting an apartment in Amman:
It looks like this: Walk up and down the hill across from the university in 100F weather until you see a sign in Arabic with a phone number. If you don't speak Arabic, you call the number in case it's a rental sign. If you speak Arabic, you only call the numbers that are actually rental signs. After you call, you hope the person on the other end speaks English...unless you have Haya with you, and she deals with all this crap for you. Then you go to the place and the person meets with you NOW. And you haggle, if you speak Arabic or have Haya, to make sure that the price is inclusive and there's no extra charges, say, for the super to provide you with groceries (?!). OK, this is done. Now, the beautiful thing: The guy pulls out a sheet of paper with the agreement on it and you put down name, phone number, passport number and hand him 400JD cash. The place is yours and you may now move in.
No background check, credit check, employment check, prior residence check, personal references...
Caveat to the cool thing: We are not permitted to have men in the apartment.
In case my dad is reading this, it's not that I need to have guys in my room or anything...it's just that I've been on the receiving end of amazing hospitality over here and I'd like to return the favor. We have an insane number of tea glasses in our kitchen taunting us.