So, unexpectedly to me (a girl who lives in London: the land of “fear of potential snow”, and goes in university in Durham where snow is half expected and wholly unwanted), snow came to Amman this year. As you may have seen on the news snowstorm ‘Huda’ swept over the Middle East recently bringing even the capital to a standstill. School was closed, the roads were the closed- essentially everything was closed. Unfortunately we didn’t have central heating in our apartment so we spent three days in bed with a gas heater pointed at us whilst we struggled to make the Wifi cooperate. I have never been so eager for my teacher to call and tell me I could come into class!
However we did venture out for a little while to get some photos to document the momentous (and unexpected) occasion. The lack of appropriate footwear did prove to be a slight issue. In future trips to Jordan over the winter I will probably plan to pack the standard British wellies- just in case!
Once it did melt the lack of drainage on the roads meant that every night the water just froze into an ice slick which sent me flying twice on the first day I ventured back to classes! However it finally became warmer and only small piles of snow on the side of the roads remain to remind us that there ever was a blizzard in our little corner of desert.
After the snow debacle, we decided to make the most of our last few weeks in Jordan by visiting the Roman ruins at Jerash (or ‘The City of a Thousand Columns’). The ruins lie only 40 mins away from Amman in a bus that costs less than a pound so it is well worth the visit! Entrance costs 8JD, however if you manage to wangle yourself a Jordanian University card it is only 1JD! Jerash is also a great place to buy typically Jordan themed souvenirs for friends and family, if you are ever stuck for ideas.
The ‘city’ itself was absolutely gorgeous and so well preserved! And, as the nickname suggests, there are PLENTY of columns. We encountered temples, a hippodrome, intact streets, huge gates and I still don’t think we saw it all, as the rain decided to set it. It is well worth giving yourself at least three hours to explore properly- and of course have a photo-shoot amongst the columns along the way! Afterwards we had a delicious lunch at a Lebanese restaurant called ‘Beit Lubnan’ or Lebanese House (hummus, falafel, chicken etc) and halfway through the power went off, which my friend tells me is all part of the authentic Lebanese experience.
So now as my time comes to a close in Amman I really come to realise that I will miss it immensely. As much as I feel that I was just living in the city, I now know that the experience is one that I will treasure for the rest of my life. That in coming to Jordan, there have been times where I have been really down… but these feelings of sadness have been overwhelmed by the realisation that I have embarked on an incredible adventure.That in coming here and experiencing a different culture, I have actually become a stronger person. And I have discovered my love for not only the Arabic language, but also the complex politics, traditions and culture of the region.
All in all it has been an amazing 5 months- probably the most challenging and rewarding of my life. I can honestly, truly say that I will miss Jordan- whether it be the 5am call to prayer that used to wake me up or the amazing people and even better food!
All I can say now: Spain has a lot to live up to!