1. After coming back from Egypt this past weekend, my roommate and I were dropped off in front of our house, and we were practically sleep walking to our front door. We were so exhausted that all we could think about was getting the most sleep we could before our 8 am class the next morning.
We walk downstairs to our rooms, and all of a sudden I hear Kirsten scream and slam her door shut. I went over to see if she was ok and to ask what was going on, and she said there was a stray cat sitting on her bed!
Now stray cats run rampant all over Amman, so it’s not unusual to see them outside, but it’s another story when the stray cat is sitting on your bed. When the cat heard the door open, it jumped up on the radiator, which was right by the window. So Kirsten devised a plan. She would go around and open the window from outside so the cat could get out.
The cat did jump out the window once Kirsten got it open, but even so, coming home at 1:30 am to a stray cat sitting on your bed is not exactly the warm welcome you want nor expect. Only in Amman.
2. Kirsten and I were walking down to catch a taxi from the main road near our house when two girls and their grandma come out of their house and say hello to us. We stopped to say hello, and they asked us where where we were from. Once we said America, the grandmother litearlly started listing off all of her relatives that lived in the US. I don’t know if she expected us to know them, but she not only did she tell us their names and life stories, we also were invited in to see pictures.
We were on our way to meet a friend for brunch and tried to refuse, but that never goes over well with Arab people. So we went into their house and looked at all the pictures, pretending to be interested all the while American style pancakes were in the back of our minds. Then she offered us coffee which we graciously took and sat down and had a conversation with the girls. They were too scared to speak English, so it turned into the grandmother telling us out how well the girls did in school. After about 15 minutes of talking to them, we said we had to leave but that we would be back.
In any other country, this situation would have been completely bizarre, but for some reason in Jordan it’s completely normal. It didn’t even phase us that strangers invited us into their house for coffee on a whim.