I start my year abroad today: first stop Jordan to study Arabic at the Qasid Insitute and the Ali Baba International Center in Amman.
Goodbyes are always difficult, especially when you’re about to go and join a culture so different to your own. I won’t lie, it’s 7.30am and I’ve already managed to have a mini emotional breakdown (and my flight doesn’t leave until 10pm!). Nonetheless I would say I’m incredibly excited for the coming year.
Luckily, I’ve already managed to sort accommodation in Amman. I’m going to stay a woman named Samia who rents out rooms to students. A number of Durham students have stayed with her in the past, including a few people from my class earlier this summer. As well as this, whilst I’m in Jordan, one of my closest friends from Durham will be staying there as well. Although I know it’s important to properly immerse yourself in the life and language, I’m really looking forward to having her there to help me transition. And with a Jordanian host, I’m sure we’ll be speaking loads of Arabic anyway!
The only hiccup is that it seems addresses in Jordan are notoriously difficult. I’ve been told to take a taxi to somewhere called ‘tla la li suk sultan’ and then call my host and she’ll direct the taxi driver the rest of the way. I hope my Arabic is up to the task, especially as I haven’t learned the Jordanian dialect yet!
Anyway, as I’m awake so early, I decided to make a couple of lists:
Things I am going to miss in England: my family, my friends, my cats (I am “fondly” known as a crazy cat lady), my dad’s cooking; Durham! (there will have to be a lot of online unfollowing to stop my chronic FOMO*), being able to wear shorts.
Things I’m looking forward to in Jordan: the food (the land of hummus, tabbouleh, falafel and baba ghanoush… what’s not to love?!); the history; the ancient city of Petra; the Dead Sea; a holiday trip to the beaches at Aqaba; camping in the desert and star gazing at Wadi Rum; the Amman citadel and the Roman amphitheatre; hearing the adhan call to prayer; experiencing the middle eastern “coffee culture” first hand; and so much more. The fact that this particular list is potentially endless seems like a good sign to me!
So once I work out how to shift 3kg from my morbidly obese suitcase, I’ll be on my way!
I’ll keep you posted xxx
*For anyone unsure, FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out