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Jonathan & Sofia Morgan

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Month: January 2015

The Sounds of Our Street

One part of acclimatising to life in Jordan has been getting used all the new sounds that we hear every day on our street. We’ve lived in built up areas before, so traffic sounds are familiar, as are voices, but the streets of Amman have some unique sounds of their own…

7:45am – The National Anthem

Each morning, just before we leave for school, we hear the children at our local primary school singing the Jordanian National Anthem, accompanied by a backing tape. It sounds a little something like this:

The Call to Prayer

This is one of the most familiar sounds to anyone who’s lived or travelled in the Middle East. We hear the call to pray at our local mosque 5 times a day (starting at 5am and finishing at 6:30pm).

The Gas Man

Most people in our neighbourhood heat their homes and run their cookers on gas. It isn’t piped into homes like in the UK, but is delivered in canisters on the back of lorries or by men who use small trollies. As they’re walking down the street, they tap the side of their trolly with the spanner that they use to connect the gas.

Lunch Time: Fruit and Veg

It’s common for families here to eat lunch together, so just as Mums are preparing lunch for their families, the fruit and veg van comes around. It sounds like this…

The first time we heard it we weren’t sure what to think! Was there some kind of protest happening outside?

The Candy Floss Man

There’s a guy who sells candy floss (cotton candy) and other sweets who walks up and down the street blowing a strange sounding whistle. It took me weeks to figure out what this particular sound was.

Tyre Screeches without collisions

Driving in Jordan is of a totally different variety to that of the UK. It’s a far more fluid, high-speed activity. Every available gap is filled by a car and lane changing and U-turning are the norm.

It’s common to hear the screech of tyres as a driver spots an impending collision. The most amazing thing for my ears is that these sudden squeals are usually followed by silence, not the sound of a crash.

There are certainly other new sounds that I haven’t mentioned here, but those are the most notable.

Wadi Rum – Exploring the desert

Due to language learning and settling into life here we haven’t really shared any pictures from the trips we’ve done. So here are some pics from when we stayed over night in Wadi Rum (desert area in Jordan) in September to celebrate my 30th Birthday. We rode camels, met shepherd boys on donkeys, ate tasty bedouin food that was cooked under the sand, listen to our two bedouin hosts playing arabic songs next to the fire, under a starlit sky. All in all a magical experience!

 

 

Här är några foton från en utflykt vi gjorde i September för att fira min 30 årsdag. Vi övernattade i Wadi Rum, ett ökenområde i Jordanien, ca 4 timmar från Amman. Vi åkte sandjeep, red kamel, åt traditionell beduin mat som kokats i sanden, satt under stjärnklar himmel bredvid en eld och lyssnade på våra guider som sjöng arabiska sånger, allt mitt ute i djupaste öknen. En magisk och oförglömlig upplevelse.

Snow Day

When we arrived back in Jordan we discovered that the government had declared Wednesday a public holiday because of the impending snowstorm. We were cynical at first – “how could they be sure that the storm would arrive on Wednesday?” – but it did.

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By the time we went out for a walk this afternoon, the snow had begun to melt.

Unlike countries that receive regular snow, Jordan’s 2-3 days of snow per year bring the whole place to a standstill. Very few have central heating, so there are queues to buy gas and the supermarkets were packed with customers.

Yesterday and today have extremely peaceful, with most people staying at home (as advised by the government!) and catching up on sleep.

We’ve had the joy of visiting some neighbours who we hadn’t seen for a while.

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Our local park

There’s an old Arabic proverb, roughly translated “choose your neighbours before you choose your home”. It emphasises that it’s more important to have good neighbours than that your house is in perfect condition.

We’ve been blessed with very good neighbours who are always ready to offer us hospitality, or help us with any questions or needs we have.

Happy New Year!

We’ve been in Jordan 5 months and finished our first semester of Arabic school just before Christmas. The photo above was taken from the rooftop of our apartment building.

One of our New Years’ resolutions, now that we’ve settled into life here, is to blog a bit more, with photos and experiences we’ve had here.

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Nu är det 5 månader sedan vi flyttade till Jordanien och strax innan jul avslutade vi vår första termin på arabiska skolan. Detta foto är taget uppe på vårt hustak här i Amman.

Ett av våra nyårslöften, nu när vi landat och livet känns lite mer stabilt här, är att börja blogga lite mer och lägga upp foton på vad vi hittar på här.

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