Meeting Jordan for the First Time

We met summer 30 minutes sooner than planned, because the plane landed at the Amman airport in Jordan earlier than planned. Inhaling the warm air. Hello Jordan!

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We were ready for a long wait since we saw that the queue for getting the Jordan visa was quite long. But everything is going smoothly and pretty quick, since majority of the people have purchased the Jordan Pass, which guarantees a paid entrance not only to Petra and 40 more sightseeing locations, but also a visa. A quick stamp in the passport, quick photo check and we make our first steps onto the Jordan land. 

Based on previous experience we decided to exchange only 10-20 euros at the airport to get to the city. You can usually get a better exchange rate in the city center. It was the same case here - we found a super favorable exchange rate and even managed to bargain a little. Everyone was happy. 

We also bought a local SIM at the airport. Since there are 3 of us and in a couple days we will split, one card is not enough. They offered us a bundle of 2 SIM cards - one only had 25 GB of data in it, the other one - the same amount of data, 50 mins of local and international calls and a taxi voucher. We got it. And then went to the bus to get to the center. 

I heard and read about the polite and kind people of Jordan and after the first 24 hours I found out it to be true. My heart was already smiling in the bus on our way to the center when I saw young and older gentlemen give up a seat for the ladies. I've heard a lot of stories about how the women in these countries don't get to have an opinion, any say or choice. But not here. Women here can vote, drive a car, work and the Wadi Musa prime minister is a woman. Women are respected here. 

People on the streets smile at us, shake our hands, talk to us and are just yelling out from a far 'Welcome to Jordan!'. Comparing to our recent experience in Morocco, no one here tries to drag you into the store or tries to earn an extra buck for helping you out. Everything here is quite calm, kind and safe. Already on our first night here we felt at home. 

It again makes you think about the information that gets presented online and what people blindly believe. That's how stereotypes and plainly wrong opinions get created. This is the 5th country I've visited where the majority of the people are Muslim - followers of Islam - and I admire these people. I don't think I've met kinder people than I have in Jordan.

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It makes you think about the way we host our visitors. Usually we just mumble something under our noses when the Old Town is yet again full of tourists. 

As much as I waited Jordan, I waited to try their food. And on our first night we indulged in the local cuisine across our hostel. They brought a plate of a mix dish for the three of us - it contained two types of hummus, falafel, bread, vegetables. We had the same thing on our second day as well.

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Since we only had one day in Amman planned, we got up very early to go to the Roman amphitheater and later to the Amman Citadel. At the very bottom of the amphitheater, right by the mark I tried out how powerful my voice can be. It reached over all the 6000 seats. And I believe the same goes for life - each of our voices are powerful and meaningful, all you need to do is believe it and pursue it. You can make a big impact.

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The only that seems to be hard to fight here is the trash. Since you mustn't really drink the tap water here, the daily waste of plastic water bottles is huge, because we also wash the fruits and brush our teeth using the bottled water. A couple cafe's, despite eating in, they serve your food on plastic plates. Juices - in plastic cups. Every tiny little thing you buy gets put in a plastic bag. Getting a cup of coffee and dropping the waste right there on the street would be considered normal for a local. The situation on the side of the roads, streets is not looking good. For now the least we can do is try and look for places that serve food in normal dishes and say no to the plastic bags. 

We ended our day by watching people and smoking the traditional hookah on the Cliff hostel balcony.

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It's time to go to bed, but it's hard to do so, since there is no AC in the room and it is very hot, and we're keeping our window open which means we can hear the little shops close up with big bangs and at 5 AM you can hear the invitations to do the prayers. This time it works for us, since we have to get to the early bus to get to Petra.

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