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  • April 2008
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Arrived in Jordan

I arrived in Jordan on April 15th.  It was my 8th wedding anniversary.  I hadn’t spoken to my wife in a week.  You would think I was in the dog house, but we knew this ahead of time, and it was just a necessary bother in trying to get this international move underway.  I love my wife and her willingness to be a single parent for two weeks while I connect with people and try to chart out what this move will look like later this summer. 

The flight from Dubai to Amman took a little over 3 hours.  It was mostly uneventful.  When we landed, a bus took us across the tarmac to the terminal.  It was nice to walk into the airport and know exactly where to go.  I even had the 10 dinars needed to purchase my entry visa in my pocket already (I changed money in Dubai). 

 I looked at the clock – 5:44. 

Last time I flew into Amman it took forever to clear customs and then even longer to get my bag.  It was a madhouse and airport workers had taken suitcases off the conveyor.  After an hour of searching I had found my suitcase off in a corner.

So as I strode purposefully down the hall to customs, I steeled myself for another long airport experience.  Fortunately I was second in line.  10 JD to the first guy – 1 stamp in the passport.  Move down to the 2nd guy – “Yes my name is Brian.”  2nd & 3rd Stamp in passport.  Move to the next line.  A random security guy walks up, “Is you Visa all set, Sir.”  I showed it too him.  Apparently it was all set, “You arte free to go”

Past more stampers asking other passengers questions to an escalator.  At the bottom was baggage claim.  My bag was rounding the curve.  I grabbed it, walked over to security, placed it on the belt.  All clear.  Out to the meet and greet.  The driver from the Hotel was standing right there with my name on one of those pieces of paper.  Introductions.  His name was Walid, from Ramle in Palestine.  He seemed please that I knew where it was and perhaps a little moreso that I had lived in Gaza.  Bags in the trunk and we pulled away from the airport.

I looked at the clock – 5:58. 

14 minutes from the time I entered the terminal to leaving the airport.  No joke.  It’s like an airport speed record.  It should be in the Guinness Book of World Records!  I’ve never done the airport that fast even in the states! 

As we drove into Amman it was like arriving in an old neighborhood that I used to live in.  I recognized streets and buildings.  Sights, sounds, and smells were all familiar.  It was a good feeling.

Here’s a view from my hotel window.  And my supper the first night.  Two Shawermas (gyro like sandwhiches with goat or beef, tomatoes, onions, and a yogurty sauce), pepsi, and an Egyptian Orange.  It cost me less than 2 bucks. 

Remember how I said it was my 8-year anniversary the day I flew to Jordan?  Less than an hour after I got to my hotel I found a shop where a guy sold me a used cell phone, charger,  SIM card, and a scratch card with minutes – all for around $60.  (Yes it was legal.)  Cellular is all prepaid in Jordan.  I know have the phone that we will be using in Jordan when we move in August.  Local calls cost just a couple cents a minute (if that) and international calls are around 70 cents per minute. 

I called my wife.  It was so very awesome to hear her voice.

I’ll write more about Jordan another time.  Ma’asallamma.



3 Responses

  1. Brian, I just made some hummus inspired by your trip. (I can’t go to Jordan, so I guess some homemade hummus is the next best thing?) I’m making some pita chips to go with it. Blessings!

  2. This made me laugh! Thanks for giving them a lift. I might have to figure out a way to call you from Paris to remind you of my pick-up at O’Hare – haha!

  3. Really enjoying reading these updates.

    Funny thing about your quick airport experience… this morning we overslept and found your wife at our front door ready to be driven to the airport. Despite our obliviousness, I think they got there on time.

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