If I were to be pedantic though, I did already sign my first lease for the guesthouse in Japan. That was certainly monumental despite the fact that it was almost entirely in Japanese, but when my room at the guesthouse was smaller than an Atwood bathroom I do not consider it my first real apartment. I'm kinda picturing my kids asking me one day, "Mom, where was your first apartment?" Kids, it was a small one bedroom place tucked in the hills of Amman. hehe
Not only do I have an apartment... I have a roommate too!! Here's how it happened. When I checked into the hostel I chatted with the hostel owner about whether or not they often have people stay long term, if there were any discounts, or if there were apartments for rent in the city. Listening in to this conversation, Kristi was sitting nearby looking at apartment listings! She approached me and when I learned she was hoping to stay in Amman long term as well, I think we both blurted out at the same time, "Wanna be roommates!?" And less than a week later we'd moved into our new home! God continually provides for me in truly amazing ways.
|I love the yellow cupboards. So cheery!|
|The only English channel we get is Al Jazeera English. |
At least I'll stay well informed!
As we went apartment shopping, I had my first taste of taxi riding in Amman. I'll say it again, I'm NOT in Tokyo anymore. Among other things, instead of taxi rides starting at about $7 like in Japan, the meter starts at about $0.35 in Amman. That is if the driver starts the meter... The first taxi we rode, the driver was out on the sidewalk and motioned us towards his car. After moving aside a giant bag of fresh pita bread spilling onto the seat, we got in and then waited patiently for the driver's shoes to finish being polished. When finished, the shoe polisher rushed across the busy street to deposit the shoes and we were on our way. I was amused. And thankfully he was a very kind and fair driver. Our next driver however was a different story! He tried to charge us 5 times the honest amount! Yeah right. I might look like an inexperienced foreigner, but don't mess with me. Fortunately, he didn't put up too much of a fight when we refused to pay the extravagant amount. At the end of the day only 1 out of 4 drivers tried to rip us off. Not bad!
Anyway, Kristi and I have been getting along really well and are quite content in our new place. We are thankful that the creepy buildings across the street, that we thought were abandoned, are actually a school. So if I don't wake up to the morning prayer call from the neighborhood mosque, I wake up to the sound of school children outside. Also, we were pretty stoked to learn there was a Safeway a 15 minute walk away. It was only after two large grocery trips that we realized the "Spinney's" only 5 minutes away is actually a much nicer and more organized supermarket. Sorry Safeway, Spinney's is nicer than most grocery stores I go to in the U.S.
As with any apartment, there are a few quirks... like maybe we failed to notice the giant construction site down the street when we checked it out the first time. Our floors might vibrate a bit from the jackhammering during the day, but it's a "nice, quiet residential neighborhood". Oh and laundry has been quite an adventure. Basic steps: Manually fill the washer by turning a lever near the floor, wash for the desired length of time, drain the water (making sure the drain hose is pointed into the shower), switch the filling hose from the wash container to the rinse container, transfer clothes to rinse container, select spin cycle, and hold the unit firmly in place while spinning. Then hang the still soaking wet clothes to dry. Spin cycle is a bit ineffective, unfortunately. But hey! At least each load doesn't cost me 200yen! :)
|Kristi and I at our favorite coffee shop.|