Glimpses of Amman
I arrived in Amman in the middle of the night. I had heard horror stories about the prices of taxis from the airport to the downtown core, so I was a bit worried how badly my budget would be affected. Thankfully, there was a prepaid taxi stand at the airport, so I was able to pay a little under $10 USD.
The drive from the airport made me thankful that I was not a driver here! I did not see a single car use a turn signal, instead they just change lanes when they see fit. As we drove along, it became clear that if the car in front of you was going to slow then you flash your lights at them, causing them to switch lanes. Ironically, ‘lanes’ are a rather subjective term, as most cars were driving between lanes. The type of vehicles were also very interesting. There was a large number of high end cars and many older model North American and European cars, with very little in between. I assume this is a glimpse into the classes that inhabit this city.
On the side of the road there were groups of people sitting around campfires. My taxi driver informed me that they are gypsies. They live in tents and move around as they see fit. Some of them had camels and horses as well, which seemed odd on the side of the road.
Even odder was the architecture of the buildings. In the darkness there appeared to be hundreds of empty buildings, left in mid construction. However, in the daylight it became clear that this is the local building style. Buildings are made out of concrete with little to no design to them. They are just square or rectangle blocks with windows carved out. Most of them do not even have glass windows.
Walking around the downtown I noticed that the shopping stores are organized by type. I had a good laugh, as the first dozen stores I passed sold only elaborate lighting. I was beginning to think the only thing that was sold in Amman was gaudy chandeliers…
Men’s stores and household stores line the main streets, while ladies shops are in behind. The ladies clothing is beautiful, well made, and so cheap! I should have come with an empty suitcase. In the ladies area there were also a large number of lingerie shops, with much more risqué choices than what is offered in La Senza. It was a stark contrast to the style of dress on the street. That being said, Amman is a fairly progressive city. As long as tops cover your shoulders and bottoms your knees, pretty much anything is appropriate in the area.
If you are visiting Jordan make sure to spend a day or two in Amman, there is a lot to see!