عمان مش القاهرة : Amman is no Cairo

Greetings from Jordan! After a hassle and a half trying to get to Amman, I finally made it! We have been “orientating” for the past week, and I feel like I have already pretty much settled in and am ready for the semester to start.
My first impression of the city is that it is very underwhelming. Everything looks the same (King Hussein established a law that said all building must be built using limestone), so the city is nicknamed the “white city.” English is the second language, so all the signs are written in Arabic and English. I drove by a building that said City Center in English and was written سنتر سيتي which is literally the words “City Center” written in Arabic script. If I get in a taxi and sayلو سمحت المدينة وسط إلى اروح بدي or “I would like go downtown” in perfect Jordanian dialect, the cab drivers almost always answer in English. It is very disappointing because I am very excited to learn the Jordanian dialect and to practice it with the locals. Although, today I got into a cab and told him where I wanted to go in dialect, and he was very impressed. We then had a full conversation in Arabic because the wise taxi driver said “why you learn Arabic? You learn to use to speak. So you must speak.” I wish that was the mentality of more Jordanians!
As lame as it may sound, my taxi driver gave me hope that my time spent in Jordan will not be a waste. I came to Jordan thinking it was going to be boring, and I know I didn’t give the city a fair chance. I came comparing it to Cairo, for which there is absolutely no comparison. I have begun to realize that I have to accept Amman for what it is and appreciate everything it has to offer.

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